Badminton Life

Philippines Open Returns in 2009

The Philippines Badminton Association (PBA) is determined to revived its only international competition, which was disrupted this year by the staging of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Philippines Open is to return next year after its brief absence from this year's calendar, because it was originally scheduled too near to August's Olympics.

The announcement was made by Amelita Ramos, president of the PBA and published in media outlets across the country.

Ramos made the announcement during a Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum in the capital, Manila.

Also present at the annual forum were PBA vice-president (Ret) Gen Edgar Aglipay, representatives of sponsors and International Management Group official Princess Galura.

"We're happy to announce that we're proceeding with the Bingo Bonanza Philippine Open Badminton on June 2 to 9 next year," Ramos was quoted as saying.

"Being an Olympic year, we thought of just postponing the Philippine Open for next year since we're not sure that there would be enough world-class players who will see action in the meet. We didn't want the tournament to be half-baked," said Albee Benitez, president of sponsors Bingo Bonanza.

The Philippines event is not a Super Series tournament, which means many of the top players might give the tournament a miss. This would be made even worse in an Olympic year, which prompted the PBA to postpone the 2008 competition.

The 2007 tournament was hugely successful with Malaysian Lee Chong Wei, the current world number one and 2008 Olympic silver medallist, winning the men's singles title by beating China's former number one Chen Hong in the final.

Players from 30 countries appeared in last year's event - a scenario that would have been unlikely this year with most of the world's top shuttlers preparing for the Olympics.

Although it is not a Super Series event, the Philippines Opens still enjoys five-star status, which means it offers $120,000 in prize money and can still attract some good qualify players.

The top Filipino badminton players are the siblings Kennie and Kennevic Asuncion, who are also likely to be joined by up and coming shuttlers Alvin Alcantara and Andre Babad.

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