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Indian domestic badminton tourneys to resume in April

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The domestic badminton circuit is set to begin from April with a revamped structure owing to COVID-19 pandemic, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced on Saturday.

The BAI has decided to resume the senior ranking tournaments with the revamped structure. The decision was taken during BAI’s executive committee meeting on Saturday, said a BCI statement. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BAI state unit members were connected virtually from all parts of India.

The revamped domestic structure promises to provide opportunities to budding shuttlers to showcase their talent. The senior ranking tournament will now be classified into three levels wherein Level 3 will have six series tournaments in the year while Level 2 will have four Super Series tournaments, said the statement.

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The Premier Super Series Tournament is bracketed as the Level 1 tournament, which will have two tournaments per year. The tournaments will also see a lucrative prize money with Level 1 being valued at Rs.25 lakh. Level 2 and Level 3 will have Rs.15 lakh and Rs.10 lakh prize money for the respective tier tournaments while Rs.50 lakh for the Senior Nationals Championships.

Both tournaments, which will initiate the restart of badminton in the country, will be part of the Level 3 tournaments and will be played with a draw of 64 in singles and 32 in doubles with hosts receiving two quotas in singles and one in doubles. There will be no restrictions in the number of qualification participation though 32 entries from singles and 16 from doubles will progress through the qualifiers.

“The new tournament structure and revised prize money will not only encourage and bring positivity in the ecosystem, but we also hope this structure will ensure more exposure to potential and new talents in the country,” BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said.

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The meeting also discussed the India Open, scheduled for May. It is one of the prestigious tournaments in the calendar and will also be the final qualifying tournament for this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The BAI has also decided to restart all the national camps for senior and juniors shuttlers from April. The junior shuttlers, who are potential prospects for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games and are part of the Junior Tops Scheme, will be included as part of these camps. The junior shuttlers will be training in the five BAI-SAI junior academies in Guwahati, Panchkula, Gopichand-SAI badminton Academy in Hyderabad, PPBA-Bangalore, and Babu Banarsi Das Badminton Academy in Lucknow. The juniors’ training will be initiated in a phased manner.

All the necessary coach’s selection will also be completed ahead of the camps by March. An advertisement for appointment of coaches will be uploaded on the BAI website shortly.

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–IANS

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