MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is set to host a continental event next month.
Badminton Asia has awarded the country the hosting rights for the 3rd Badminton Asia Team Championships set from February 11 to 16 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
For Badminton Asia chief operating officer Chit Boon Saw, the Philippines is enjoying another boom in the sport.
"I think the Philippines is one of the fastest developing nations in badminton. And it is good to bring an event like this in a developing badminton country," said Saw as the country last hosted the Asian Championships in 2001.
"The game can be promoted to the masses better with an event like this."
Aside from serving as a qualifier for the Thomas (men's) and Uber (women's) Cups set in Denmark this May, the tournament will also be one of the last chances for top shuttlers to accumulate points in order to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Thus, over 290 shuttlers from all over the continent are expected to arrive, headlined by defending men's champion Indonesia and women's champion Japan.
Fifteen men's teams and 14 women's squads will compete in the biennial meet. Each division will be divided into groups of 4 with the top 2 teams in each group advancing to the knockout stage.
The team format is a best-of-five encounter with 3 singles matches and 2 doubles matches.
Saw sees the tournament as an opportunity for the Philippine national team to gain new experience in the sport.
"I hope the Philippine team takes this as an opportunity to learn and grow in the team event. As you know, there are not a lot of team tournaments in the world so this will be a good opportunity to learn on your home court," he said as the Philippines went 1-2 in the men's side and 0-3 in the women's division during the 2018 edition of the meet.
The executive also believes the Philippine Badminton Association will successfully stage the tournament.
"I think it will be a successful event because of the venue and the people working in the event. The venue is really suitable. I believe that it will be a good hosting." – Rappler.com