KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not be hosting badminton’s top three elite events for the 2018-2021 seasons.
Yesterday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) introduced a new six-tier structure from next year onwards with increased prize money at all levels.
The top-level tournaments, worth US$1.5mil (RM6.65mil) each, are the season’s Finals, World Championships and Olympics.
For the hosts of the level two tournaments with a minimum prize money of US$1mil (RM4.43mil), the BWF named China, Indonesia and England as the hosts.
Malaysia are in level three with China, Denmark, France and Japan.
The minimum prize money for each tournament is US$700,000 (RM3.10mil).
BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said it was time for world badminton to raise its profile.
“It was not easy to choose the top three-level hosts. All did well as the Superseries hosts over the years.
“It’s unfortunate that Malaysia didn’t get the job but it was so close,” said Lund after the BWF’s council meeting yesterday.
England has a rich and long history with the All-England being the world’s oldest badminton tournament while China and Indonesia have a huge market and wide fan base.
“We’ve put in a lot of thought into this new structure.
“There are changes in the rules, too.
“The prize money has been increased at every level, making it the biggest payout for the shuttlers when the new cycle begins.
“It’ll not be known as the Superseries.
“We’ll come up with a new name during our official launch,” said Lund.
Lawrence Chew, the general manager of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), was not disappointed with the BWF’s decision.
“I think the decision is fair. Our main tournament – the Malaysian Open – has been raised from US$600,000 (RM2.66mil) to US$700,000 (RM3.10mil).
Our second-tier Grand Prix Gold has been upgraded from US$150,000 (RM665,000) to US$300,000 (RM1.33mil).
“All the world’s top 10 players must compete in the level two and level three tournaments.
“So, it means our Malaysian Open will still attract the best players.
“The only difference is the prize money,” said Lawrence.