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THE Philippines will be hosting a BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament with the 2022 SMART Badminton Asia Championships taking place on April 26, Tuesday, at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
For Badminton Asia, the Philippines is deserving of hosting the event after having hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games and the 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships.
"The Philippines has been hosting a lot of badminton tournaments," said Badminton Asia secretary-general Moosa Nashki in a press conference held Sunday at the Crimson Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa. "Three years ago, they hosted the Southeast Asian games then two years ago, they hosted the Team Championships. We were happy with the hostings that is why we wanted the Philippines."
"This is the first time ever that the Philippines is hosting a BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament," added Badminton Asia chairman of events Bambang Roedyanto. "You will see that it is very tough and when you see the draw, you will see very tough matches right in the very first round. You will see world and Olympic champions here."
Slated to compete in the event are world no. 2 Kento Momota of Japan, no. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, no. 7 Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, no. 8 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, no. 9 Lakshya Sen of India, no. 10 Loh Kean Yew of Singapore, no. 11 Srikanth Kidambi of India, and no. 14 Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan for the men's side.
For the distaff's side, world no. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, no. 4 An Se-young of South Korea, no. 5 Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, no. 7 P. V. Sindhu of India, no. 9 He Bingjiao of China, no. 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong and Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand, and no. 13 Sayaka Takahashi of Japan are set to compete in women's singles.
Men's doubles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles tournaments will also take place.
"All the players here are tough that is why I'm just taking it game by game and trying to do my best," said Ginting, a two-time SEA Games gold medalist.
The winners of the event will gain 12,000 BWF ranking points while the runner-up will get 10,200. The semifinalists will bag 8,400 points, quarterfinalists will net 6,600, round of 16 finishers get 4,800, while making it to the round of 32 notches 3,000.
Local badminton stars Ros Pedrosa and Jewel Albo for men's singles; Jaja Andres and Mika De Guzman for women's singles; and Lea Inlayo and Susmita Ramos for women's doubles will have to go through the qualifying round on Tuesday before getting into the tournament proper.
Meanwhile, the men's doubles pairs of Christian Bernardo-Paul Pantig and Solomon Padiz-Julius Villabrile and the mixed double pairs of Padiz-Inlayo and Alvin Morada-Thea Pomar will play in the proper.
This will be Team Philippines' final preparation for the Hanoi SEA Games on May 12.
"Malaking bagay po ito para sa amin sa preparation namin sa SEA Games kasi high-caliber players ang makakalaban namin," said Albo. (JNP)