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Thursday December 6, 2012

Malaysian Open a good prelude to Super Series Premier event

KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are confident that next year’s Maybank Malaysian Open will serve as a good warm-up before the tournament is upgraded to a Super Series Premier event in 2014.

The Malaysian Open is currently one of the seven Super Series events in the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) calendar.

However, it won the right to be upgraded to become one of the five Premier events in the next cycle, alongside China, Denmark, England and Indonesia, during the BWF council meeting last week.

And BAM deputy president Datuk Al-Amin Majid believes that the next Malaysian Open, from Jan 15-20, will play a crucial role in impressing everyone that Malaysia will be up to the task.

“We are very happy that Malaysia has finally earned the right to host a Premier event from 2014 onwards and next year’s Malaysian Open will be a good testing ground for us,” he said after the first organising committee meeting at Bukit Jalil yesterday.

“Although the total prize money will remain at US$400,000, it is still one of the biggest for a Super Series event and we’re looking forward to all the top players coming here.

“I’d like to think that Malaysia is one of the best host in terms of hospitality and we should have no problems attracting the top players.

“It also helps that Lee Chong Wei is the top player in the world and others would love to come here to try and beat him on his home ground.”

Al-Amin also said that five courts would be used for the first two days (qualifying and first round) of the Malaysian Open.

This, he said, was because “there are almost 80 matches and, if we stick to four courts, it may well drag past midnight”.

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