BAI boost for tourneys

Canara Bank meet set to kick-off today at KBA

The Canara Bank All-India Senior-ranking badminton tournament will kick off at the KBA courts here on Tuesday, with the Badminton Association of India providing a strong financial backing to the Rs 5-lakh prize money event.

In a bid to further galvanise the domestic circuit, the BAI had decided to support around six national senior-ranking events, starting with the Bareilly event, an inititiative that has been met with praise by the legendary Prakash Padukone.

“Finally the domestic scene has been revived,” said India’s first All England Championship winner at a press conference here on Monday. “In the past few years, only the top 5-6 players got to play regularly as they compete in international tournaments. The others did not get to play many tournaments. 

“I have been a strong advocate for more domestic tournaments. A few of us wrote to BAI asking for more domestic tournaments. We are glad that more domestic tournaments happen now. I believe this is the third consecutive tournament (Bareilly, Kochi and Bangalore). The next year will be even better as it will be better planned. 

“Our players are good, they practice hard, but have little to show in terms of title wins. This tournament will serve as a good platform for them to showcase their skills,” added Padukone. The tournament here will feature some of the top shuttlers from the country like Sourabh Verma, Sameer Verma, Rohit Yadav and seasoned campaigners like Arvind Bhat, Anup Sridhar and Chetan Anand in the men’s singles competition.

Women’s singles will see top-ranked Arundati Pantwane, former national champions Sayali Gokhale and Aditi Mutatkar, Tanvi Lad and junior national champion Rituparna Das. Women’s doubles specialist Ashwini Ponnappa will be competing in the singles and mixed doubles event, where she will partner Tarun Kona. The qualifying rounds will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday with the main draw starting on Thursday. The event concludes on Saturday.

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