Badminton Asia Junior Championships go to China
The City of Suzhou in the southeastern Jiangsu Province in East China will write badminton history when it plays host to this year's Badminton Asia Junior Championships, from July 20-28 - which is a first for China.
The badminton powerhouse in the world has never hosted the Badminton Asia Junior Championships although it has been the most successful nation in winning the mixed team title and also individual events.
Malaysia has played host to the Asian Junior Championships a record eight times (1998, 2002, 2006 to 2010, 2013) followed by Indonesia thrice - in 2005, 2017 and 2018. Three countries have hosted the championships twice - Chinese Taipei (2001, 2014), South Korea (2004, 2012) and Thailand (2015, 2016).
The Philippines hosted the inaugural championships in 1997. The other nations who have hosted the meet are Myanmar (1999), Japan (2000) and India (2011).
Suzhou - about 100km northwest of Shanghai - is a major economic center and focal point of trade and commerce. It is the second-largest city in the province after its capital Nanjing.
With its canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens in the city, Suzhou is a major tourist attraction in China.
The Classical Gardens of Suzhou were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the Venice of the East or 'Venice of China'.
The Yunyan Pagoda often called the"Leaning Tower of China" sits on the Tiger Hill in the city and was built in 961. The city's major museums include the Suzhou Museum, Suzhou Silk Museum and Suzhou Museum of Operas and Theatre.