World-class badminton takes center stage starting Tuesday, April 26, with the country’s hosting of the Smart Badminton Asia Championship at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
The star-studded lineup include Japanese defending champions Kento Momota and Akane Yamaguchi, Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Anthony Sinisuka Gingting of Indonesia, 2018 Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, Malaysia’s 2021 All-England Open winner and Southeast Asian Games reigning champion Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, to name a few.
Other notable players taking part are reigning Koren Open An Se-young, 2017 world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, Tokyo Olympics mixed doubles silver medalists Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, and 2019 world gold medalist Pusaria Sindhu of India, among others.
The Philippine team will also be fielding a young lineup with hopes of gaining experience from their world-class counterparts.
“I think it’s a good springboard for us to be able to reintroduce badminton and move forward with the sport to become a high profile and more popular again,” said Philippine Badminton Association Inc. Vice President Jude Turcuato in Sunday’s press conference at the Crimson Hotel in Alabang.
Competing for the PH team are Jewel Angelo Albo, Mika De Guzman, Solomon Jr. Padiz, Eleanor Christine Inlayo, Alvin Morada, Thea Marie Pomar, Julius Villabrille, Susmita Angelique Ramos, Janelle Anne Andres and Aira Mae Nicole Albo.
“We’re really excited to be playing here and we’ll try our best to perform,” said De Guzman.
Endorsed by the Badminton World Federation and Badminton Asia, the prestigious tournament returns from a two-year-absence brought by the pandemic. It also marks its first staging since being upgraded to World Tour Super 1000 level.
Also present in the press conference are Badminton Asia chairman of events Bambang Roedyanto, Badminton Asia secretary general Moosa Nashid, Philippine team head coach Rozman Razak and Smart Communication head of Go To Market Melvin H. Nubla.
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