The excitement about Asia’s premier tournament, the Asian Badminton Championships 2013 being hosted by the Chinese-Taipei Badminton Association next year, stems from the fact that this will be the first time since the series was inaugurated some 50 years ago, that the island nation will be welcoming the best of Asian shuttlers.
Only seven of the 41 members of Badminton Asia Confederation have played host to this Asian Flagship in the past. They include Malaysia, India, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, Thailand and South Korea.
But Chinese-Taipei are not alien to organizing important tournaments or welcoming great players. On the contrary, the Association ranks among the few that consistently organizes international tournaments, including the Grand Prix Gold and the island has often being described by players and officials as a 5-star choice for organization and hospitality.
So it was no wonder that the EXCO of the BAC was delighted to receive and approve the application by the Chinese-Taipei BA to play host to the 2013 Asian Championships.
The 16-21 April tournament, will be held at the imposing multi-purpose Taipei Arena – a famous landmark in the city. Opened in 2005, the Arena plays host to various sporting activities including ice-hockey, gymnastics, boxing and wrestling. It is also a popular venue for ‘live’ concerts and cultural shows. But this will be the very first time that the 15,000 capacity stadium with adjustable floor space will be used to organise an international badminton event.
Through the years, the Badminton Asia Championships have drawn immense interest and some top players. In fact it has drawn most of the elite from the Asia. Among the past winners who have gone to gain international recognition and admiration include Sun Jun, Chen Hong, Xia Xuanze, Bao Chunlai, Lin Dan of China, Taufik Hidayat, Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia, Rashid Sidek, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Park Sung-hwan of Korea.
Among the women, Ye Zhaoying, Gong Zhichao, Xie Xingfang, Li Xuerui of China, Wang Chen of Hong Kong, Jun Jae-youn of Korea and Yuliana Santoso of Indonesia, all former Asian champions.
Yet another gathering of the elite of Asian badminton can be expected at for this edition of the Badminton Asia Championships in mid-April next year.