Surabaya. Since its inaugural event back in 2007, the Djarum Badminton Superliga has entertained the fans with the participation of top-tier shuttlers. More teams, foreign and local, are now expected to make their appearance at next year’s event.
Playing for the team Musica Flypower Champions, who defended the men’s title at Surabaya’s DBL Arena at the weekend, Germany’s top shuttler Marc Zwiebler said he hoped to bring his own team in future.
“The event is very professional, but unfortunately the European Championship qualification is taking place in Basel next week, so my friends could not come,” Zwiebler said on Sunday. “I will invite all my friends to come here next time and we can enjoy Indonesian food together.”
The 29-year-old shuttler was one of the foreign players signed by Musica. He played alongside Vladimir Ivanov of Russia, South Korea’s Lee Hyun-il and world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
South Korea’s badminton governing body also praised the event and said it was considering sending its own team next time, according to federation official Greg Kim.
“The Superliga is one of the best international professional tournaments. We wanted to send a team to this year’s event, but we had national selection tests at the same time,” Kim said.
Seven foreign teams took part in the event. They were Japan’s Unisys, Renesas, and Gifu Tricky Panders and Singapore’s Koh Bros; Cooperative Bank of Taiwan; Malaysian Tigers and SCG of Thailand.
Meanwhile, after selecting Surabaya as host city three times, the organizers may opt to move the event to another city. They are considering Manado (North Sulawesi), Palembang (South Sumatra) and Samarinda or Balikpapan (both in East Kalimantan) as new host city in an effort to attract more local teams.
“Surabaya’s crowd is still the best, but we may move the event next year. We will choose other cities, who also have many badminton fans. I want to spread the sport’s popularity even wider,” Djarum Foundation president director Victor Hartono was quoted as saying on the website of the Badminton Superliga.