Traditionally held in China as the World Chinese Badminton Championships under the auspices of the World Chinese Badminton Federation (WCBF), the event will take place at Stadium Perpaduan in Kuching from Oct 31 to Nov 3.
It has attracted 1,860 players from 20 countries with the largest overseas participation coming from China with 649 players, followed by Indonesia and Taiwan (79 players each) as well as Hong Kong (46).
There are three main categories of events categorised by age group, namely the Open, Amateur and VIP Events, and it will be played in a one-set, 31-point-scoring format.
In the older age groups of 60 up to 75 years, Malaysia has genuine medal contenders. The tournament has attracted seasoned campaigners who have been actively competing and winning medals in several major senior international masters Championships over the past 10 years as well as debutants in the events.
Among them is Bruni Garip, the current 2019 BWF World Seniors Men’s Singles 65-69 Champion from Sarawak, who will have the benefit of home ground advantage.
Another title contender is Chan Wan Seong, the Men’s Singles 60 to 64 years old category champion in the 2015 World Chinese Badminton Championships, who is moving up to play in the older age group of 65 to 69 years old category for the first time.
Wan Seong’s previous Men’s Doubles partner, Ong Then Lin, who was also the 2017 Men’s Singles Champion in the 60-64 age group, will battle it out with title favourite Wong Loke Poh from Australia for supremacy in this category.
Wan Seong said he would be making his Men’s Singles debut in the 65 to 69 years old category this year.
“It is a very competitive group with the current BWF champion Bruni being the favourite to win.
“There are also other strong players and ‘dark horses’ to contend with. Since Then Lin is still in the younger age group, I’ll be partnering Abdul Gapar Obey of Brunei in the Men’s Doubles 65 to 69 years old category event,” he said.
Another seasoned competitor, doubles specialist Ong Sin Oong, will partner 1970s Thomas Cup player Ng Tat Wai in the Men’s Doubles 70 to 74 years old category as well as Chooi Tat Wai in the Men’s Doubles 140 combined-age category.
Joining the fray are Datuk Irwan Shah Abdullah or fondly known as DJ Dave, who will be participating in the singles and doubles events in the 70 to 74 years old category, while Datuk Venugopal Menon will play in the 75 to79 years old category.
Both have won medals in the World Morning Cup and the World Chinese Championships in previous years.
Wan Seong, who initiates and organises regular training sessions for the senior players, said the passion and determination shown by the senior players was truly remarkable.
“It is admirable considering that at this age of 60 to 75 years old, they are still regularly competing in singles and doubles events over the past few years, and consistently winning medals.
“Hopefully, in the higher age-groups, our senior players can rise up to the challenge,” he said.
Another debutant group led by Jasmond Chooi consists of about 24 players.
Jasmond will be partnering Tae Hock Kay in the Men’s Doubles 50 to 54 years old category as well as the combined age 110+ years old category.
“We formed a scratch pair and have developed good chemistry.
“Most of us have never played in an international tournament but it will be a good experience to play against overseas players.
“Although we are aiming for the top, we are expecting strong competition locally as well as from shuttlers from Indonesia,” he said.
The group consists of shuttlers from Perak and Kuala Lumpur, and they hope to win at least one medal in the tournament.
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