Badminton Life

Badminton Secure for Next Two Olympics

Badminton players, coaches and national associations the world over were celebrating after being informed that the sport would continue in the Olympic fold until at least 2016.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is going through a review of the sports for the London Games in four years' time, and there were fears that badminton might be under threat.

However, Badminton World Federation secretary general Stuart Borrie was quoted by media as saying that the sport will still be part of the Olympic family for the next two games.

He said there were 33 points for evaluation by the IOC, one of which is its attraction as a television spectacle.

"Among the items that we need to improve is wider television and media coverage, which is very important. We can start from badminton shows on TV where they broadcast stars and sporting heroes," said Borrie in the Jakarta Post.

"Badminton is a fantastic sport to watch. Even the IOC President Jacques Rogge was impressed with the sport's speed and agility of the players."

Borrie said the television rating for badminton rose 24th in Sydney 2000 to 14th in Athens 2004.

The paper said Indonesian IOC member Rita Subowo, who is also the Indonesia's National Sports Council (KONI) chairwoman, said that badminton at the Olympics still needed a lot of improvement.

While the scoring system, which is now 21 points instead of 15, has helped to make it more exciting, the sport needs to be more attractive to viewers.

"The scoring system now is already good. But the packaging of the sport needs to be more attractive," she said.

"I talked to the BWF officials and I suggested they start with a reform in the athletes' uniform. The jerseys used by shuttlers are so boring."

She said there have been design changes such as skirts for women and sleeveless shirts for men.

While badminton is secure at the Olympics for the next eight years, Borrie said they were hopeful that it would continue for the 2020 Games as well.

For this, he said, BWF must work on boosting the popularity of the sport beyond Asia and Europe.

"We have 16 shuttlers from South America, the eastern part of Europe and Africa who qualified to compete at this Olympics but two could not get to the Olympics. They trained at our world training center in Saarbrucken, Germany," he said.

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