Badminton Thrust into Bright Lights – World C’Ships

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Lloyd Green

Swiss Badminton held a one of a kind media event in Engelberg yesterday on the opening day of the YONEX Swiss Open 2019 – almost six months to the day before the start of the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 and BWF Para-Badminton World Championships to be held at St. Jakobshalle, Basel.

For once, it was not Bollywood stars that appeared in front of the cameras on Mt. Titlis, but some of the best Indian and Swiss badminton players who rounded off the day’s media event with a spectacular badminton match.

As one of the main production sites for Bollywood films such as Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Mujhsee Dosti Karoge and Madly in Love, Mt. Titlis enjoys high fame and popularity in India with around 716,500 Indian tourists visiting the site each year.

It was only natural then that Indian badminton stars Parupalli Kashyap and Sai Praneeth B. partnered Swiss No.1 Sabrina Jaquet and Swiss Para badminton athlete Karin Suter-Erath for a breathtaking exhibition match in the Swiss Alps.

Parupalli, who married fellow shuttler Saina Nehwal last December, said: “It was a unique experience and a lot of fun to be able to play badminton in one of the most spectacular Bollywood venues.”

The World Championships return to Switzerland for the first time since 1995, then held in Lausanne, and is the first time that both the TOTAL BWF World Championships and BWF Para-Badminton World Championships will be held concurrently.

Badminton on Mt. Titlis.

Jaquet, from the Swiss city of Biel, said it’s a great chance to showcase the sport of badminton in Switzerland.  “It will be a very special feeling to play the World Championships in front of my home crowd,” said the 31-year-old, who holds 29 Swiss national titles and has won two international tournaments.

Swiss Badminton President Robbert de Kock added: “We are very pleased that this event has been met with such great interest and that badminton and these two upcoming major events have been given the stage they deserve.”

Around 40,000 fans are expected to descend on St. Jakobshalle, Basel, later this year to watch some 500 athletes from 50 nations compete. The tournament runs from 19-25 August.

Charles Keller, President of Basel Badminton World Championships 2019, said: “Only thanks to the local organising committee’s many years of experience is something like this possible.”

A number of World Championships hopefuls are in action at the YONEX Swiss Open this week including last week’s All England victors Chen Yufei (women’s singles), Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan (women’s doubles), and Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (men’s doubles), plus two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan and Rio 2016 Olympic champion Chen Long.

Follow the action here.