Indonesia, Thailand and Chinese Taipei have served the opening shuttle for the Singapore Badminton Open 2018, being the first three countries to submit their teams for the event, held from 17 to 22 July.
A strong team of 37 shuttlers from Indonesia will make a showing at the Singapore’s prestigious badminton event, led by reigning Olympic Mixed Doubles badminton champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir. The dynamic duo will return to their old hunting ground at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where they enmassed Gold at the 2011, 2013, and 2014 edition.
2016 Women’s Singles Champion Ratchanok Intanon. Photo: SBA
Also adding to the highlight of the event is 2016 Women’s Singles Champion Ratchanok Intanon who is fighting to reclaim her title.
She was the first Thai shuttler to earn the World No.1 ranking after completing a hat-trick of titles, sealing her place in history as the first ever singles player to secure three Super Series titles in three consecutive weeks back in 2016, India Open, Malaysia Open and Singapore Open. “Coming into any tournament as a previous champion is always a challenge, but I will do my very best to reclaim my title,” she said.
Intanon paid homage to her vocal fans, adding that “The fans in Singapore really come out in full force. Their support definitely plays a part, and I hope to receive the same amount of support this time around as well”.
Adding to the stature of the event is World No.6 Chou Tien Chen from Chinese Taipei. He will look to build upon his respectable showing over tournaments this year, having secured the Gold at the Yonex German Open 2018, and Silver at the Yonex-Sunrise Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta India Open 2018.
The 28-year-old Chinese Taipei national will be joined by his compatriot Wang Chi-Lin, who recently won the New Zealand Open Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles in early May. Wang is currently joint-World No.8 with Cheng Hung Ling in the Men’s Doubles, and joint-World No.14 with Lee Chia Hsin in the Mixed Doubles, all of whom will be present at the marquee event.
Olympic Mixed Doubles badminton champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir. Photo: SBA
Organising chairman of the Singapore Badminton Open 2018 Eugene Ang said: “Having shuttlers like Ratchanok Intanon, Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir at this year’s event will certainly draw the crowds. Their presence bodes well for the tournament. Players have until 5 June 2018 to register their participation and we are expecting more names to come.”
Tickets for the Singapore Badminton Open 2018 are available via Sports Hub Tix and APACTix.