India Open badminton from January 30 as BWF remodels calendar Jan 08, 2018 15:44 IST
The country’s premier badminton tournament, the India Open will now be held from January 30 to February 4 in New Delhi instead of the March-April slot as the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has remodelled the World Tour.
On Monday, the BWF did away with the Superseries and Grand Prix events and introduced a five-level World Tour in Guangzhou, China, which will be valid from 2018 to 2021.
The season will begin on January 9 with the Thailand Masters in Bangkok and will culminate with the $1.5 million BWF World Tour Finals from December 12 to 16 in Guangzhou which will replace the Superseries Finals, held in Dubai until last year.
The next tier of tournaments will be known as Super 1000 and will have a prize money of $1 million. The three tournaments in the category will be All England Open, China Open and Indonesia Open.
Super 750 will have a prize money of $700,000 and will hold tournaments in China, Denmark, France, Japan and Malaysia.
The Super 500 category, with a purse of $350,000, will include the India Open and tourneys in Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The last tier – Super 300 – will have a prize money of $150,000 and hold events in 11 countries including the Syed Modi International Championships in Lucknow, scheduled from November 20 to 25.
Players have had contrasting views vis-a-vis the calendar changes as they will have to play in at least 12 events 2018 onwards. Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu had told Hindustan Times last month that the “BWF had already told us about the calendar changes and we really can’t change it. We will have to pick and choose tournaments”.
Players will have to play these events apart from other major events such as the Olympics, World Championships, Thomas, Uber and Sudirman Cup, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal had welcomed the changes in prize money structure but was critical of the ‘hard’ calendar.
She found support in Olympic champion Carolina Marin, who told Hindustan Times that “it would be tough for all and that is why it is really difficult for a player to be at the top consistently”.