New Delhi, January 9: The Yonex-Sunrise India Open organised by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) will kick-off the 2022 international badminton season with the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium all set to witness mesmerising badminton action from January 11-16.
The USD 400,000 prize money Super 500 event will kickstart the 2022 HSBC BWF World Tour season. Reigning World Championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth has received the top billing in the men's singles section with world champion Loh Kean Yew and bronze medallist Lakshya Sen also vying for their first Yonex-Sunrise India Open crown.
Badminton Association of India General Secretary and Organising Secretary Ajay Singhania expressed delight that the tournament was going ahead and was confident that the tournament will be a grand success like the earlier editions.
"The India Open has become an important event on the BWF calendar and we are delighted that the new season will kick start from here. We have taken all possible precautions for the safety of the players and officials and we will try to engage fans through various online platform and live broadcast on television," he said.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist and India's shuttle queen P V Sindhu will lead the charge in the women's singles section which also has the likes of two-time champion Saina Nehwal, Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan and Singapore's up and coming Jia Min Yeo.
2017 Champion, PV Sindhu said playing without fans would be a bit of a dampener but she was as motivated as anyone to clinch her second tournament title. "I have always looked forward to playing in New Delhi as India Open has always had full house crowd with a great atmosphere as winning a tournament at home is always special for any player."
Yonex-Sunrise is the title sponsors for the tournament and Managing Director of Sunrise Sports India Pvt Ltd., Vikramaditya Dhar insists that supporting the tournament is part of their commitment to the sport.
"Badminton is one of the most popular sport in the country and the Yonex-Sunrise India Open has played an important role in bringing top-level badminton in the country. As badminton action re-starts after the two-year break, we are committed to doing everything that helps the sport to grow further."
Men's singles top seed and former champion Srikanth said the tournament provided him with the perfect opportunity to build on his World Championships success.
"It's a long season for all of us with the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games scheduled later this year. Starting the season on home turf gives me a perfect opportunity to start the year on a winning note," said the former World No. 1.
The 10th edition of the tournament, which is being held after a gap of two years following the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, will see participants from 19 countries across five categories vying for the prize purse.
World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen is also keen to leave his mark in his first appearance in the home tournament. "I have always looked forward to playing the India Open. I had to wait for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic but I am confident of putting my best foot forward this week."
Due to the Covid related restrictions, strict protocol are followed and all players have to go through mandatory tests before entering the venue as the main draw start from Tuesday.