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Nagpur, Raipur set to get BWF International Challenge badminton tournaments soon

HS Prannoy beat Kidambi Srikanth to win his maiden Senior National Badminton title in Nagpur in 2017. The Senior National venue Divisional Sports Complex Mankarpur has facilities to host international events. (Pic credit: BAI)
HS Prannoy beat Kidambi Srikanth to win his maiden Senior National Badminton title in Nagpur in 2017. The Senior National venue Divisional Sports Complex Mankarpur has facilities to host international events. (Pic credit: BAI)
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Suhas Nayse

If everything goes well, Nagpur and Raipur will host International Challenge badminton tournaments soon.

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Friday sent a formal application to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) requesting the world governing body of sports for approval.

Bids for Nagpur and Raipur have been sent to BWF, which are expected to be approved within a couple of weeks, according to the top BAI official.

India annually conducts five BWF international tournaments. If BWF gives a green signal, then India will hold seven international tournaments every year.

The Indian Open World Tour Super 500 tournament is India's most prestigious tournament, and takes place in New Delhi. India also hosts the Syed Modi World Tour Super 300 tournament in Lucknow and the Odisha Open World Tour Super 100 tournament in Cuttack, Orissa.

In addition to these World Tour Super tournaments, India also hosts one Infosys Foundation International Challenge in Bengaluru and one junior international tournament in Pune.

BAI general secretary Sanjay Mishra confirmed the latest developments and is optimistic about getting formal approval from BAI regarding Nagpur and Raipur’s proposal.

“The BAI has sent a request application to BWF asking for two more International Challenge tournaments to India. In the letter, we have specified Nagpur and Raipur as host cities for the International Challenge tournaments. BWF will go through our application and is expected to make the decision within ten days or a maximum of two weeks. We are optimistic about the positive response from the BWF,” Sanjay Mishra told Sportskeeda on Friday.

India already has one International Challenge tournament which was held in Bengaluru late last year - the Infosys Foundation International Open. Earlier, it was known as the Tata Open and used to be held in Mumbai.

India will host 7 BWF international tournaments every year after Nagpur-Raipur bid: Sanjay Mishra

With badminton's popularity reaching its peak after the first-ever Thomas Cup triumph in Thailand recently, India needs more and more international tournaments. Seven tournaments in India will be a big boon for the Indian players.

“If we get BWF approval, India will have three International Challenge tournaments every year. It will be a great boost to Indian badminton and will certainly benefit the players. So many Indian players can take part in those three tournaments and pocket those crucial international points to improve their world rankings,” said Sanjay Mishra.

The former junior national coach said after the BWF's approval, the host country can change the city if needed.

Nagpur and Raipur will be the two new cities on the international badminton map. To send applications for BWF approval, we have to specify the names of the cities. After the approval, we also have the option to change cities also if necessary. BAI is quite hopeful about winning this bid, and the international badminton tournament will make its debut in Nagpur and Raipur,” said Sanjay Mishra.

Central India’s most popular cities, Nagpur and Raipur, have hosted national level badminton tournaments earlier.

BAI treasurer and Maharashtra Badminton Association president Arun Lakhani wants to host the International Challenge tournament in Maharashtra.
BAI treasurer and Maharashtra Badminton Association president Arun Lakhani wants to host the International Challenge tournament in Maharashtra.

Nagpur and Raipur have facilities to host international badminton tournaments

The 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship was held at the world-class Divisional Sports Complex Mankapur in Nagpur in 2017. The first-ever senior nationals in Nagpur were a grand success with the participation of all top players including Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj.

BAI treasurer and Maharashtra Badminton Association president Arun Lakhani wants to hold the International Challenge Badminton tournament in Nagpur.

"The Mankapur Stadium has all the facilities required for an international tournament with a seating capacity of more than 5000 spectators. All the top players were very satisfied when they played at the same venue in 2017," said Maharashtra Badminton Association president Arun Lakhani.

Raipur also conducted the All India Rankings badminton tournament earlier with a lot of success.


Edited by Parimal
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