KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will host their second major Open badminton tournament in June and it is expected to attract top notch players, who are determined to be seeded for the World Championships.
Malaysia will now host the Grand Prix Gold event from June 23-28 in Johor Baru. The world meet will be held in Hyderabad from Aug 10-16.
In January, Malaysia hosted the opening leg of the Super Series at Bukit Jalil, where world No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei won the home title for the fifth time.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are confident that the US$120,000 Grand Prix event in June will pull in the crowd although it will be held after the back-to-back Super Series events in Singapore and Indonesia.
The Singapore Open is from June 9-14 and the Indonesian Open is from June 16-21.
“We are confident that some of the top players will make their stop in Malaysia after competing in the two Super Series.
“We have scheduled the Grand Prix Gold after the two Super Series in Asia so that it would not be a hassle for the players to travel back and forth,” BAM general manager Kenny Goh said yesterday.
The Grand Prix Gold is one rung lower than the Super Series under the Badminton World Federation (BWF) calendar.
“The Malaysian Grand Prix will also be the last tournament for some of the shuttlers to strengthen their world rankings. I am sure that the players will want to be seeded for the world meet. This will draw the players to our tournament,” Kenny said.
The seedings for the world meet will be finalised based on the July 17 world rankings.