Badminton Life

Fans Expected to Flock to Asian Badminton Championships

There is expected to be huge fan interest in this year's Asian Badminton Championship (ABC) with some of the sport's top names expected to compete.

The Johor Badminton Association(JBA), host of the ABC from April 15-20, is expecting a bumper crowd to the Johor Baharu Indoor Stadium.

With big names such as Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei playing in JB, and ticket prices not too expensive, the JBA is confident of big attendances during the week-long event.

The tournament has been held in Johor Bahru for the past two years with an average of 3,000 fans a day and 5,000 people attending the final.

JBA President Hashim Harun was quoted by Bernaman as saying: "And going into the third year, I'm confident we can attract even more fans."

He said all the world's top players for the five categories would be coming to Johor Baharu for the championship.

"China have Lin Dan, the men's world number one and Xie Xinfang, the women's world number one. Indonesia were supposed to sent their top two players Taufik Hidayat, the men's singles defending champion and Sony Dwi Kuncoro. But Taufik didn't show up when the draw was made.

"Malaysia have got Lee Chong Wei, Wong Mew Choo and the entire national team and South Korea have included their number one men singles, Lee Hyun Ill and their doubles pair of Lee Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung.

"So badminton fans in Johor are in for a treat and I'm confident they will come and support their favourite players. What's more with ticket prices ranging from RM10 to RM30 only."

The Johor Executive Councillor for Youth and Sports Jais Sardy has already given assurances to the organisers that the stadium would be in great shape for the tournament.

"We have had problems with leaking roof and power blackout last year but the local authorities have ensured us that maintenance work has been done and things will be better this time," Jais told Bernama.

The five-day meet, offering a total prize money of US$125,000 (RM400,000), is the last tournament for players looking for late qualification spots for the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

"As such the competition will be keen and the level of badminton played will be at its best," added Jais.

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