Thursday, August 1, 2013

BWF Badminton World Championship 2013

The badminton world championship 2013 is scheduled to be held next month in August. Nearly 400 of the world's top ranked players are expected to participate in the tournament, which will be held in Guangzhou in China from 05-Aug-2013 to 11-Aug-2013.

The tournament is held once every year, and is the most prestigious tournament in the badminton world, and the winners get the honour of being officially known as the 'world champion'.

Here's the list of Indian players who will be playing at the BWF badminton world championships 2013.

Men's singles event
P Kashyap
Ajay Jayaram

Women's singles event
Saina Nehwal
PV Sindhu

Women's doubles
Ashwini Ponnappa and Pradnya Gadre
Aparna Balan and N.Sikki Reddy

Men's doubles
Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu
Akshay Dewalkar and Pranav Chopra

This is the first time ever that India has been able to field such a big contingent of badminton players for the world championship tournament. Only the top 50 players in the world in each event are eligible to play at the tournament, and hence this strong team is an ample indication of India's growing strength in the world of badminton.

The last time that players from India had won a medal at this prestigious tournament was when Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had won the bronze medal at the 2011 BWF badminton world championships that was held at London two years back.

Saina Nehwal has got a relatively easy draw at the championships and the first Chinese player that she is likely to play against is in the semi-finals. As per the tournament rules, all players reaching the semi-finals are assured of at least a bronze medal.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Indian badminton league - the teams and the players

Here's the complete list of all the teams & players that will be participating in the Indian badminton league 2013, which is scheduled to be held from 14th Aug to 31st Aug, in six cities of India.

The names of some of the IBL teams have been changed in recent days, and the IBL auction that was held a couple days ago on 22-July, has finally helped in deciding which team would consist of which players.

Here is the list of the six Indian badminton league teams, their owners, coaches, and the list of all the badminton players in each team.

Hyderabad Hotshots
Mumbai Masters
PVP Group
Consortium led by V. Chamunde-Swarnath
JR Kumar
Aparna Popat
Players list

Men's singles
Taufiq Hidayat
Lee Chong Wei

Ajay Jayaram
Marc Zwiebler

Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk

Women's singles
Saina Nehwal
Tine Baun

Men's doubles
V.Shem Goh
Pranav Chopra

Tarun Kona
Manu Attri

Khim Wah Lim
Vladimir Ivanov

Mixed doubles
Pradnya Gadre
Sikki Reddy

Shubhankar Dey
PC Thulasi

P. Kanthi Visalakshi
Sumeet Reddy

Rasika Raje

IBL Team
Pune Pistons
Delhi Smashers
Dabur Group
Krrish Group
Nikhil Kanetkar
Rashid Sidek
Player list

Men's singles
Tien Minh Nguyen
Wing Ki Wong

Saurabh Verma
HS Prannoy

Anup Sridhar
Sai Praneeth

Joachim Fischer Nielson

Women's singles
Juliane Schenk
Arundhati Pantawane

Nichaon Jindapon

Men's doubles
Rupesh Kumar
Boon Hoeng Tan

Sanave Thomas
Kien Keat Koo

Wee Kiong Tan
V Diju

Mixed doubles
Ashwini Ponappa
Jwala Gutta

Arun Vishnu
Prajakta Sawant

IBL Team
Banga Beats
Lucknow Warriors
BOP Group
Sahara India Pariwar
Vimal Kumar
Muhammad Hafiz Hashim
Player list

Men's singles
Parupalli Kashyap
Weng Fei Chong

Hu Yun
RMV Guru Sai Dutt

K Srikanth

Women's singles
Tzu Ying Tai
PV Sindhu

Carolina Marin
T. Sapsiree

Ruthvika Shiwani

Men's doubles
Arvind Bhat
Marcis Kido

Aditya Prakash
Maneepong Jongjit

Akshay Dewalkar

Carsten Morgensen

Mixed doubles
Aparna Balan
K Maneesha

J Meghana
Nanda Gopal Kidambi

As you can notice in the tabulated list given above, each of the teams has 6 Indian players, and 4 foreign players along-with at least one Indian junior badminton player.

The Indian badminton league is scheduled to be played in the six cities, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Pune and Bangalore, and the tournament will have home and away matches for each of these six teams.

The IBL opening ceremony will he held in Delhi, the semi-finals matches in Bangalore and Hyderabad and the finals will he played on 31-Aug-2013 in Mumbai.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sunil Gavaskar becomes a part of Indian badminton league

Cricket's one and only little master Sunil Gavaskar along with Telugu actor Nagarjuna, are reported to have become stakeholders in the Mumbai team that will participate in the IBL (Indian badminton league) tournament that is going to be held next month from 14th to 30th Aug-2013.

In my opinion, this is great news for the badminton scenario in India. Both Gavaskar as well as Nagarjuna's involvement with the IBL will make the matches more newsworthy for newspaper publications as well as the TV channels who keenly follow everything that happens in the world of films and filmstars , and in the world of cricket and cricketers.

And with cricketers of such merit as Gavaskar showing his interest in the game, badminton will get more than the share of media attention that it usually receives. This in turn will attract more people to watch the Indian badminton league, and some of them could then become ardent followers of badminton, if the matches and the tournament delivers on its promise of some really nice high-voltage action.

But that benefit is only the tip of the iceberg. Gavaskar can offer so much more to the game, and badminton players can learn a lot from him.

In my opinion, he is a man of multiple talents and has acute observational skills. I still recollect how he once mimicked the bowling styles of players such as Abdul Kadir and Malcom Marshall in an over that he once bowled, a long time ago.

And I also distinctly remember about how he once mentioned of his experiments with holding the bat very gingerly in his hands while facing fast bowlers. He said that initially the bat got knocked out of his hands, but soon he was able to hold it without dropping it, and the opponents were astounded at how even the fastest of balls started dropping dead at his feet when coming in contact with the bat. He was truly a master at defence, in his days.

The reason I am going down this memory lane, is because badminton could do with the same kind of insights and experimentation. Well, players and coaches maybe doing it all the time, but even if they do, that kind of information does not ever reach the ears of badminton fans.

Also, at least once, I would love to hear Sunil Gavaskar lending his expert commentary to a badminton match someday. If not that maybe he could at least pass on a few good tips to those who are doing the commenting.

Even before IBL, Gavaskar has been involved with the sport of badminton for some time now and Nagarjuna's foray into badminton is not very surprising either. He is a Telugu actor who I believe is based in Hyderabad, and as all of us badminton followers know, Hyderabad is the hub of badminton activity in India, largely due to Gopichand's academy which is based there.

To add to this celebrity duo, Aamir Khan (who is a good badminton player) and Deepika Padukone (who has a badminton background, being the daughter of Prakash Padukone) are going to be the brand ambassadors for the Indian badminton league.

All things considered, the future of Indian badminton looks better than ever before.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yonex OCBC US Open 2013 badminton tournament - results

The 2013 Yonex OCBC US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton championship tournament that was being played at Orange County at California in USA, came to a close today. The senior international championship being held at the same venue will conclude on 14th-July.

Here's a look at some of the results.

Men's Singles event

Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam who was the 3rd seed at this tournament clinched the title defeating 4th seeded Wing Ki Wong of Hong Kong by a score of 18-21, 21-17, 21-18.

Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand who had started this US-Open 2013 badminton tournament as the top seed, alongwith Japanese player Kento Momota were the other losing semi-finalists.

There was very less Indian representation at the US Open in this year. Amongst those who had participated, Anup Sridhar lost in his first match itself and could not progress beyond the first round, while Arvind Bhat managed to do a bit better winning his opening match, but then lost his way in the second round when he was defeated by 15th seeded Henri HursKainen of Sweden in two straight games.


Women's Singles event

Sapisree Taerattanchai of Thailand won the gold medal in the women's singles event at the US Open-2013. She defeated Yuka Kusunose from Japan, in the final match by a score of  21-12, 21-13.

Top seeded Nichaon Jindapon of Thailand and Kaori Imabeppu of Japan, were the other semi-finalists.
There were no Indian players participating in the women's events.


Doubles events.

The women's doubles final was an all Chinese-match. While China bagged the top two positions (gold and silver), the next two positions (losing semifinalists) were both from Japan.

However in the mixed doubles final match, Hong Kong got the better of China in the final, to win the gold medal.
In the men's doubles final, top seeded Japanese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda won the gold medal.


The US open-2013 is conducted every year by OCBC (Orange County Badminton Club) which is situated at Orange County in California, USA.

The club also offers short term and long term group training programs to selected participants who get a chance to learn badminton from well-known badminton coaches.

External references:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Indian badminton league in Aug-2013

Expectations are rising high as the first ever Indian badminton league date draws nearer. The competition will be held from 14-Aug to 31-Aug-2013, starting with the opening ceremony at Delhi and culminating with the finals that will be held in Mumbai.

The presence of all the top-level Indian badminton players as well as top-ranked overseas players is going to ensure that the competition play will be of a very high level. For Indian badminton fans this is a good opportunity to watch the world's best players in action in their home-towns.

The competition is going to have 6 teams, and will be played using a franchise model similar to the one followed in Cricket's IPL league. Each team will have a total of 12 players that will include a maximum of 4 foreign players from top badminton playing countries such as Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Korea and Denmark.

And here's the list of the six IBL teams that will be competing for the prize money which is over Rs.5 crore.

Mumbai Masters
Karnataka Kings
Hyderabad Hotshots
Rajdhani Smashers
Pune Vijetas
Lucknow Warriors

By the way, don't these team names sound similar to their IPL counterparts in cricket?
If you are like me, no doubt at one point or another you must have wondered why Hyderabad cannot be called just as the Hyderabad team and Mumbai just as the Mumbai team.

The matches will be conducted in these 6 cities in the form of home-and-away matches for each of the teams in the 3-week long tournament.

And yes, the Indian badminton league finally seems to have caught the attention of the cricket-crazy media of our country. Newspapers reported that Sachin Tendulkar was interested in buying the Mumbai Masters team, and now I am hearing that Sunil Gavaskar will also be involved in the tournament in some way or the other.

Bollywood has not been left behind either. It's been reported that Aamir Khan, whom I admire, and who apart from being a great actor is a good badminton player is going to be one of the brand ambassadors. The other ambassador for the event is going to be badminton legend Prakash Padukone's little girl Deepika.

There is going to be a fair amount of money involved in the league as a lot of heavy-weight companies have shown interest in buying the franchise teams. Companies such as Dabur, PVP, and Sahara have already got the teams they want.

The base price for each teams had been pegged at Rs.6 crore. That's big money when it comes to badminton. The players are also going to be richer with the top 5 from each team earning 50000 US dollars and the next 5 earning half of that.

Check out this link for more info: about Indian badminton league.

A good news for us badminton-fans is that all the badminton matches are going to be telecast live on Star Sports.

So here's wishing Indian badminton league a great success!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

K. Srikanth wins SCG Thailand Open 2013 badminton tournament

Promising young badminton player K. Srikanth of India, won his first ever major international title today, winning the gold medal in the men's singles event at the SCG Thailand Open-2013 Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament, held at the Nimibutr stadium at Bangkok in Thailand from 04-June-2013 to 09-June-2013.

Before the start of the men's singles final, not many would have expected such a surprising outcome. After all, the experienced Boonsak Ponsana is ranked no.7 in the world and was the top seed at this tournament. On top of that, playing at the Thai Open final, meant that he would get plenty of support from the home crowd.
On the other hand, Srikanth's world ranking was no.45 at the start of the tournament (and current ranking is no.61) and he was seeded 13th here at this tournament. A big difference, so to speak.

However as it eventually turned out, Kidambi Srikanth defeated Boonsak Ponsana in the finals in just 33 minutes and two straight games by a score of 21-16, 21-12 to clinch his first ever GP Gold title, and a well-deserved prize cheque worth 9000 US dollars, to go along with it.

20-year old Srikanth is from Hyderabad, represents Andhra Pradesh state at the domestic tournaments in India, and is currently ranked no.3 within India as per the rankings published by BAI (Badminton Association of India). On the international level, he has made rapid progress in the last 6 months, first breaking into the top 100 and then into the list of top 50 players in the world.

Women's Singles results:

Saina disappoints this time

Top seeded Saina Nehwal could not repeat her last year's performance this time around at the Thailand Open-2013. She was defeated in the quarter-finals by 8th seed Juan Gu of Singapore.

Last year Saina had done better at this tournament when she had went on to win the title defeating Ratchanok Inthanon in the finals. Here's the link to her previous year's performance at this tournament.
  Saina wins Thailand Open 2012 badminton tournament.

Inthanon grabs the title at Thailand Open badminton 2013

The women's singles title at the Thailand Open 2013 was won by Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand who defeated her own country-mate Busanan Ongbumrungpan in the tough final match that lasted for 3 games. Inthanon finally won by a score of 20-22, 21-19, 21-13.
So, she has done one step better this time. Last year it was Silver for her, and this time it's a Gold medal.