At a special event at The Star, Badminton Australia today announced the player line-up for the 2016 XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open.
The XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open has drawn a stellar line-up of players ready to battle it out in Sydney. Two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion Lin Dan (China) will be returning to Sydney along with current World No.1 Chen Long (China) as well as World No.2 Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), current World No. 1 RatchanokIntanon (Thailand), defending women’s singles champion and World No. 2 Carolina Marin (Spain), World No. 1 Women’s Doubles Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) and current Men’s Doubles World Champions Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan (Indonesia).
Also joining the strong line-up is hugely popular Saina Nehwal (India), who is World No.8 and a 2015 World Championship silver medallist, and has more than 5 million followers on social media. Saina also took out the 2014 Australian Badminton Open.
The 2016 XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open, which runs from 7-12 June at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush will bring an influx of players, officials and supporters from around Australia and the world.
With the events first ever overseas launch in China, and with XIAMENAIR on-board as the new title sponsor, the 2016 XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open has attracted the biggest international player line-up in the events history, as well as unprecedented interest from overseas visitors.
Included amongst the top tier players are the world #1 in men’s and women’s badminton – singles and doubles – and a large portion of the top ten superstars of the sport across all disciplines.
Tan Boon Heong title holder of the world’s quickest smash at 421km/ph will also be part of the fast paced action at the 2016 XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open.
With 28 countries represented at the event this year some of the best represented include China, India, Denmark, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres said the event promises to attract a large crowd of local and visiting badminton fans.
“It’s great to see another world class field coming to Sydney for the XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open. Secured for the State by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the event will showcase our city to a massive global audience. With the Rio Olympics just a few months away the competition is sure to be intense, and I encourage all badminton fans to book their seats for what will be an exciting event.”
“We’re thrilled with the player line-up this year. Once again, we are pleased that our tournament is able to attract such an impressive field,”says Tournament Director and Badminton Australia board member Loke Poh Wong.
Returning as one of the major sponsors of the event, The Star hosted today’s media launch with The Star’s Managing Director, Greg Hawkins saying, “The Star is proud to be supporting this important event on the Badminton World Federation tournament calendar for the third year running. We are delighted to welcome the world’s best badminton players and the visitors who follow the sport to The Star in Sydney. The profile of badminton is continuing to rise in Australia and The Star is thrilled to offer our broad range of entertainment and leisure facilities to this growing audience.”
The 2016 XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open Superseries offers one of the most lucrative sporting prize pools in Australia, with US $750,000 up for grabs. It will also see the players fight for their last world ranking points as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio draw near.
World #1 men’s singles player Chen Long says, “I have made two trips to Australia, one in 2007 and one in 2015, both times to Sydney. In 2007 I competed and won the boy’s singles in the Australian Youth Olympics and last year I won the men’s singles in the Australian Open. So Australia gives me the winning feeling. I hear we will do a harbour boat cruise so I am looking forward to seeing the VIVID light festival and enjoying the mild Sydney weather.”
Current men’s single world #3 Lin Dan, who is also a Dolce &Gabbana model and global ambassador, has travelled from China to Australia to compete for the last two years and is looking forward to his third tournament in Sydney.
Lin Dan says, “I’m looking forward to once again enjoying the seafood and great weather that Sydney has. I saw Vivid Sydney festivallast year and have never seen so many colourful lights and so many people enjoying it. I hope to catch some of it again this trip.”
Zhao Yunlei, who is one half of China’s doubles world #1 team and reigning World Champion adds, “I really enjoyed Sydney with my first trip in 2014, but due to injury I could not make it to Sydney in 2015 - I am really looking forward to coming in 2016. The people, the environment, the food make Sydney memorable for me.”
The 2015 tournament was broadcast to more than 200 million homes globally, with these figures set to be surpassed in 2016.
Tickets to the XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open start at just $25 with platinum ticketing at $95 on the finals day. Early bird and family packages are also available ensuring that this world class badminton event is an affordable and unique experience for the entire family.
Tickets to watch the world’s best badminton players compete can be purchased online via: http://www.australianbadmintonopen.com.au/ with spots to watch the finals expected to sell-out fast.