Badminton Life

Drop Outs Affect the Singapore Open

With it being so close to the major sporting event that many competitors have spent the last four years building towards, it is probably no surprise for organizers to see a number of players pulling out at the last minute.

A good event organizer will have a back up roster of players they can turn to in the event of drop outs and this will allow any gaps in the event to be filled without inconveniencing fans or officials too much. Its not great for anyone but it should be expected and it certainly was not a surprise to see the Singapore Open being hit by a number of late call offs. Not even the $200,000 prize fund up for grabs in Singapore was enough to convince all the top players to remain in the event but the tournament carries on regardless.

The Men's singles event was hit especially hard as the second and third seeds of the event pulled out, leaving a gap at the top end of the event. Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark was ranked as the second seed but he was unable to participate and he was soon joined by the third seed as Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia also pulled out of the tournament.

Both players were joined by Kendrick Lee from Singapore on the drop out list. All three were replaced by players from the qualifying pool and Japan's Kenichi Tago, Tawain's Hsieh Yu-hsin and Denmark's Jan Jorgensen were the lucky recipients of the late call up to the main event.

If the Men's singles event was hit hard then the Men's Doubles event was virtually decimated as the top seeds were a late call-off. Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia and the Danish duo of Mathia Boe and Carsten Mogenssen withdrew from the tournament. Only the week before two of Malaysia's top teams, Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah and Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong also dropped out of the tournament.

At the time, the Malaysian teams were ranked second and third in the event but both were done over by injury. There is no doubt that a lot of these call-offs have happened because it is so soon to the Olympic Games but it is unfair to the organizers and more importantly, the fans who look forward to these events.

The Mens Doubles event was not redrawn as the decision was made to promote players from the qualifying rounds as direct replacements for those that withdrew from the event. The Womens events did not suffer as many call-offs as the male equivalent and the qualifying for these events went ahead as normal.

Organzing an event like the Singpore event must be hard enough without having to deal with so many late call offs but the people behind the tournament have managed extremely well to deal with events off the court before the event has even started. It is sadly a fact of life that the major events will be more important to players at this time of year but it is the small events that give players a chance to get through to the major tournaments.

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