PETALING JAYA: The participation of the Malaysian badminton team in the India Open now hangs in the balance following bomb blasts in Hyderabad on Saturday.
There were three blasts at Hyderabad that left more than 30 people dead. The incident had been linked to terrorism.
The India Open, which is offering its highest-ever prize money of US$150,000, is scheduled for Sept 4-9 and it is one of the tournaments that offers Olympic qualifying points.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretaryP. Ganga Rao said yesterday that they would make a decision on the team's participation this week.
“The bomb blasts were very close to the badminton venue (Kotla Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy Indoor Stadium). We will have to look into the players' safety. We (the BAM) will discuss the matter with the NSC (National Sports Council) before we come to s decision,” he said.
National number one Lee Chong Wei is the top seed and the other Malaysian entries in the men's singles include Mohd Hafiz Hashim and veteran Wong Choong Hann.
The tournament has also drawn the participation of China's Bao Chunlai and Chen Yu and Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat.
In the men's doubles, Malaysia have three national pairs among the entries – Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif, Chan Chong Ming-Hoon Thien How and Gan Teik Chai-Lin Woon Fui.
Among the top pairs in the fray are the Indonesian-American combination of Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan, South Koreans Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae and Lee Jae-jin-Hwang Ji-man and China's Xie Zhongbo-Guo Zhengdong.
If Malaysia opt out of the tournament, the next assignment for the national shuttlers will be the Japan Open, which is the seventh leg of the Super Series, scheduled for Sept 11-16 in Tokyo.
(source: The Star Online)