The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has recently announced the twelve host countries for the 2014-2017 BWF World Superseries cycle – including Sydney as one of the hosts for the very first time.
Sydney’s success in securing a BWF World Superseries event from 2014 will effectively see the Australian Badminton Open, currently a Grand Prix Gold rated event, become one of the richest professional badminton tournaments in the world.
The US$750,000 in prize money that will now be up for grabs at the Australian Badminton Open from 2014 will effectively see badminton offering one of the most lucrative sporting prize pools in the country.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said he was delighted that the Badminton World Federation has included the Australian Badminton Open in the next World Superseries cycle.
“Upgrading the event to a World Superseries tournament from 2014-2017 is a tremendous recognition of the Australian Badminton Open to deliver another world class event for NSW,” said Mr Souris.
“In addition to the increased numbers of fans expected to attend the tournament, the Superseries telecast is expected to reach millions of viewers in key Asian markets, showcasing Sydney as Australia’s premier sporting and major events destination.”
The Australian Badminton Open, previously held in Melbourne, was secured by the NSW Government through Destination NSW in 2012 as a Grand Prix Gold level event.
The BWF Superseries is a 12-tournament series during which the world’s best badminton players compete throughout the year for a place in the season finale – the BWF World Superseries Finals.
The twelve host nations for the BWF World Super Series 2014-17 are:
Premier Superseries (5): China Open, All England, Indonesia Open, Denmark Open, Malaysia Open
Superseries (7): Singapore Open, Hong Kong Open, French Open, India Open, Japan Open, Korea Open, Australian Open
Speaking from the BWF council meeting in Bangkok where the announcement was made, Thomas Lund Chief Operating Officer of the BWF said, “Congratulations to Australia and Sydney for securing a spot for the 2014-2017 Superseries. It is great that there is a Superseries for the Oceania region and I wish every success for Australia.”
With bidding to be part of the world Superseries extremely competitive, Sydney was up against prospective hosts from countries such as China, Indonesia and South Korea who all have a huge supporter base for the sport.
“It is a huge honour to see badminton in Australia elevated to this prestigious level. Every year we are experiencing a strong growth in the sport in Australia and now being named part of the BWF Superseries will give us a huge shot in the arm in terms of international and local prominence for badminton in Australia,” said Badminton Australia CEO Paul Brettell.
“The NSW Government through Destination NSW has played an integral role in helping us secure the World Superseries status and it is a reflection of their ongoing commitment to the sport following the inaugural Australian Badminton Open in Sydney earlier this year,” added Paul Bretell.
Before the kick off of the 2014 BWF World Badminton Superseries at Sydney Olympic Park, the city will once again play host to the Yonex Australian Badminton Open, with the event returning to the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (SCEC) at Darling Harbour in 2013, running from Tuesday April 2 – Sunday April 7 with a prize pool of US$120,000.
Sydney played host to the Australian Badminton Open for the first time this year as one of the Grand Prix series (one level below Superseries), with the success of the event putting the world badminton spotlight on Australia with 26 countries participating.
More information about the 2013 Australian Badminton Open can be obtained from the tournament website at www.australianbadmintonopen.com.au