BAI gets a big pat from world badminton body
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is pleased and satisfied with the professional manner in which India hosted its first Thomas and Uber Cups at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here May 18-25.
"First of all, we, together with the BAI, have been able to put up an extremely well staged event in many ways. The Thomas and Uber Cups have been several notches higher in terms of organisation if we compare it to the annual India Open Super Series," BWF secretary general Thomas Lund told IANS.
BWF president Poul-Erik Høyer was also pleased with India's organising of the sport's biggest events.
"I am very satisfied with the way the Thomas and Uber Cups were hosted in India. It was very professional, not just the stadium but also the television coverage. It has lived up to our expectations," Høyer told IANS.
However, hosting an event of such magnitude also comes with its own sets of challenges and glitches. Poor crowd turnout, unstable and unreliable power and internet connectivity for the media were some of the problem areas which could have been addressed better during the week-long tournament.
But the BWF feels that the Badminton Association of India (BAI) did its best to overcome the challenges.
"Yes there were challenges. There were internet challenges that we struggled with over the week, and this was unfortunate. We had honestly wished there was more spectator interest, among other things. But we don't go to places where there are no challenges," added Dane Lund.
"There was a big effort from BAI to try and address some of these issues. They could not solve all of them, there were improvements. The evaluation shows there was honest commitment and best of effort."
But Lund, who is a two-time mixed doubles World Champion, said they need to come out of the challenges as there are a lot of positives to take away from the two tournaments.
"There are a lot of positives to take away. A lot of big steps were taken for the growth of the event. The venue layout, the look and feel, the prize presentations were really good. There was an enormous amount of media interest and coverage provided for badminton which is very important," said Lund, who is also the BWF chief operating officer.
"The television coverage and promotion that was provided by the Star Sports channels was really good. They promoted it beyond belief on four channels with near 24X7 coverage. The sprucing up of the venue took the event a couple of notches up from the Super Series, which was very nice."
The 45-year-old Lund said the positives should be taken from here and then incorporated in the Super Series and the Grand Prix Gold that India hosts annually.
"Take all the positives, improve on that and I am sure everyone will learn from that. So that the next event -- whether a Super Series or Grand Prix Gold -- will be taken to an even higher level which is something we are looking for. That is part of the legacy of this event," Lund said.