Annoucement

Aviva Newsroom - 11 April 2007

World's Top 30 badminton stars at Aviva Open

11 April 2007

This year's Aviva Open has been touted to be "Tougher than the Olympics". Competition will be keen as almost all top 30 players in both men's and women's world rankings have registered to take part in the Aviva Open 2007 in Singapore, making this the most exciting badminton event in South-east Asia this year.

The Aviva Open, part of the Badminton World Federation Super Series, is the first event this year to offer the highly coveted Olympic qualifying points which will count towards a place in the Beijing Olympic 2008. The fact that there is no cap on the number of entries from each country means that every country can, and have sent all their top players to the event, hoping to achieve maximum entries to the Beijing Olympics!

For the Olympics, a country is allowed to send only one entry per event unless it has several top-ranked players. A country can send a maximum of three entries if all its players are in the top four of the world rankings. There is a limit of two entries if a country has two players or pairs in the top 16.

With no such limits at this year's Aviva Open, China has entered Lin Dan,Bao Chunlai and Chen Jin, ranked first, second and third in the world, as well as world No. 6 and 7 Chen Hong and Chen Yu! A bad draw could see a player having to fight his way through the entire Chinese contingent for the chance tostand on the winning rostrum! Adding to the mix will be defending AOS champion Peter Gade of Denmark and Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, who contribute to a men's field jam-packed with truly world-classtalent. The reigning Olympics Champion and Asian Games Gold medalist,Taufik Hidayat from Indonesia , will start his campaign for Olympics points here too.

It's an equally star-studded event in the women's field, with world No. 1 XieXingfang and reigning Olympic champ and world No. 2 Zhang Ning scheduledto line up alongside compatriot and third-ranked Zhu Lin, Germany's Xu Huaiwen, defending Aviva Open 2006 champion France's Pi Hongyan and Hong Kong's Asian Games gold medalist Wang Chen.

In the doubles, the level of competition is equally high and exciting as new pairings, from tried-and-true pairings, have been formed. Indeed, world badminton giant China even has two pairings in the men's doubles event who have to fight their waythrough the qualifying rounds just for a chance to play in the main draw!

Reigning Olympic champions Gao Ling and Zhang Jun of China have been separated and Gao Ling will continue her partnership with her Asian Games 2006 Gold medal partner, Zheng Bo in the hope of being the next top pairing which can take on the world in Beijing.

All top-10 players in both the men's and women's world rankings are entered for the tournament, which takes place from May 1-6 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Besides being able to see the cream of world badminton talent battling it out for a slice of the US$200,000 prize money and the valuable Olympic points, Singapore badminton fans will also be able to catch their favourite local athletes who will be pitting themselves against the best in the world.

For media enquiries, please email us at aro@aviva-asia.com

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