New Delhi, March 1: After eight successful years, India's most prestigious badminton tournament - the Yonex Sunrise India Open - is set to return for its ninth edition, boasting of some of the best names in the business. With lucrative prize money of $350,000, the tournament begins on March 26 and the final will be played on March 31.
This marque tournament that was previously held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex for the last seven years will have a new address. The Indira Gandhi International Stadium (IGI), which in the past has hosted landmark sports events like the 1982 Asian Games and recently, the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships will be the new home for the shuttlers this edition. All the matches will be played at the K D Jadhav Indoor Hall located within the IGI stadium.
Speaking about this year's tournament; BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "This tournament has been a great platform for the Indian players to contest against the best shuttlers from around the world. Historically, India has registered good results and I am confident our players will repeat the feat this year too; especially playing at a new and historic venue like Indira Gandhi Stadium, it will be a great opportunity for the fans to experience the live action. I urge people to come in huge numbers for the matches."
The tournament has evolved a long way since its inception in 2008. The first three editions of the India Open, then a Grand Prix Gold level tournament of the BWF tournament structure were hosted in Hyderabad. It was upgraded later to a BWF Superseries Tournament in 2011 and since then India Open is part of the World Tour and hosted at the National Capital.
"The India Open is a prestigious tournament that India has the privilege to host and on behalf of Badminton Association of India; I urge fans to come in huge numbers and witness their favourite badminton players in action and also the young Indian shuttlers in this tournament," BAI General Secretary, Ajay Singhania said.
With the Olympic Qualification starting later this year; this year's India Open will see a host of top players from world badminton trying to amass as many ranking points possible to guarantee a direct entry for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.