NEW DELHI: Reigning Olympics and world champions including Chen Yufei of China, Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen will lead the international challenge at the India Open badminton tournament, to be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi from January 17-22.
The prestigious tournament, which will be played at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, has been upgraded to BWF World Tour Super 750 category in the new tournament cycle from the previous Super 500 and is a part of the Asian circuit that will kick-start the new season of international badminton.
Organised by the Badminton Association of India (BAI), India Open was conducted behind closed doors during its last edition in 2022 owing to the coronavirus pandemic as read in a statement released by BAI.
“We are thrilled to have such responses and big names fighting for the titles in the upcoming edition. Unfortunately, fans couldn’t watch the players live in action due to the pandemic but now it will be a treat for them to come and witness their favourite stars live. The upgraded Super 750 status also makes this event grandeur in every possible way and we look forward to a mega week full of exciting badminton action,” BAI Secretary General Sanjay Mishra said.
Two-time Olympics medallist PV Sindhu, defending champion Lakshya Sen and former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth would be leading India’s challenge for the coveted title along with the world No 7 men’s doubles pairing of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who clinched the title last time.
The tournament has attracted entries of top players from 32 countries with the likes of China’s Shi Yuqi, Japan’s Kento Momota, Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia in the men’s singles and former world champions Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, Ratchnok Intanon of Thailand and the upcoming An Se-Young of South Korea aiming to kick off the season on a winning note.