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Monday, December 7, 2009

BWF Mull More Suitable Date For Super Series Masters Final (BERNAMA)


JOHOR BAHARU, Dec 6 (Bernama) -- Badminton World Federation (BWF) has concluded that twelve months in a calendar year was not enough to complete the Super Series which culminate into the Masters Final.

So, in their bid to find a suitable date for their year end Super Series Masters Final which is the crown jewel in their calendar with a total prize money of US$500,000 (RM1.75 million), the BWF might have to extend the season by another month.

As a result, the next Masters Final could be held in January, since the BWF calendar has a tight schedule and the fact that the dates had clashed with a number of other events, which saw a spate of withdrawals for the just concluded five-day championship at the City Council Indoor stadium here.

China in particular, did not send their big names, citing the need for their best to be in Hong Kong for the East Asia Games while Indonesia had also decided to give their top players a break, to prepare for the SEA Games, next week.

"We are aware that 2010 is going to be another hectic year for badminton with the Thomas/Uber Cup finals and the Super Series. There is also the Commonwealth Games in India in October and the Asian Games in Guangzhou in late November.

"So we have to find a more suitable date which would allow the best players to have some breathing space to take part in the Super Series Masters Final," said Darren Parks, the event director of BWF.

And January of the following year is being mulled as the possible date for the richest event in the BWF calendar.

The Super Series Masters Final is the culmination of the Super Series event, where the top eight ranked players in their respective events after the completion of the series, qualify to play based on merit points.

"And we also looking into the possibility of the Master Finals being moved elsewhere after two consecutive years in Malaysia," added Parks.

Critics claimed that the 2009 Masters Final was a dull affair due to the lack of big names and crowd here at the City Council Indoor stadium but Parks rebuffed such notion.

"We had Lee Yong Dae-Jung Jae Sung, the world's top men's doubles and Boe Mathias-Carsten Morgensen of Denmark who contested a worthy final, we had Lee Chong Wei, Peter Gade and Taufik Hidayat in the men's singles, three of the most accomplished singles players in the world.

"Maybe the women's singles was affected by the absence of the top Chinese players but overall I thought it was a credible field out there. As to the crowd, I can sympathize with the BA of Malaysia.

"But to be fair, they only had one month to prepare for the championship and the lack of publicity surrounding the event was understandable. But we still had a good turn-out in the final," added Parks.

-- BERNAMA

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