India bids for 2016 Veterans World Championship

PTI| Last Updated: May 21, 2014, 18:06 PM IST

New Delhi: A series of big-ticket events, including the 2009 World championship and the ongoing prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, has firmly established India on world badminton scene in less than a decade.

The Badminton Association of India now says it has also bid for the Veterans World Championship in 2016.
The dominance of Saina Nehwal and the arrival of P V Sindhu and K Srikanth has only helped the country in growing by leaps and bounds. BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta says the future is bright for Indian badminton.

"In the last five years, India has hosted the world championship, we also have a regular Super Series tournament in India and now hosting the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals is proof of India`s growing stature," Dr Das Gupta said.

"We have already bid for the veteran World championship for 2016 and we will also try to do whatever is necessary to get other big event such as Sudirman cup to India. I think the future of Indian badminton is very bright," he added.

It was Saina who had put India on the world scene when she started winning titles in the international circuit and youngsters such as Sindhu and Srikanth, along with Parupalli Kashyap and the doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa only added to India`s emergence.

The country had hosted its first major event when the World Junior Championships was held in Pune in 2008 and Saina Nehwal become the first Indian to win the title. A year later, 2001 All England Champion and chief coach

Pullela Gopichand helped bring the World Championships with Hyderabad hosting the prestigious tournament.

The Indians made good use of the chances and their performances at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the capital, where Saina and the duo of Jwala and Ashwini won gold medals, further enhanced their reputation

What came next was a three-year Super Series contract, which has now been extended till 2017, by the World Badminton Federation (BWF).

"India has performed well over the years. Initially, it was Saina, but then Sindhu, Srikanth, Kashyap, Jwala and Ashwini all came up with good performances. We hosted the world championship in 2009 and the world body has been impressed by the way we hosted international events," Gopichand said.

"The Thomas and Uber Cups Finals is going on smoothly and I am sure India will be hosting other big-ticket events such as Super Series Finals and Sudirman Cup in the near future," he added.

Domestically, the Indian Badminton League was another highlight of the country emerging as a money-spinner, as it saw the world's best making a beeline to be part of the cash-rich tournament.