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BWF launches outdoor badminton game

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AirBadminton will enable badminton to played outdoors. Photo:@BWF

Guangzhou (China): Playing badminton on the beach? Yes, it is now becoming real and official.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) launched a new outdoor game, AirBadminton, and a new outdoor shuttlecock, the AirShuttle, at a global launch ceremony.

“This is a momentous occasion for badminton. Strategically, AirBadminton will allow us to fulfill our overall objective of putting a badminton racket in the hands of as many people as possible,” BWF President Poul-Erik Hoyer said at the launching ceremony here in Guangzhou on Monday.

AirBadminton is designed to create opportunities for people of all ages to play badminton on hard, grass and sand surfaces in parks, gardens, streets, playgrounds and beaches, according to the BWF’s official announcement.

The BWF said the new outdoor game is also played on new court dimensions, making it more suitable to play in outdoor environments, and on hard, grass and sand surfaces around the world.

Hoyer said AirBadminton provides a pathway for increased global participation in the sport, while opening up doors for a new, highly attractive form of competitive badminton.

“Given that most people’s first experience with badminton comes in an outdoor environment, we are now making it easier for everyone to access the sport through a new outdoor game and new shuttlecock, the AirShuttle,” he said.

Hoyer said the project has been five years in the making, starting with a vision to develop a new outdoor shuttlecock with increased durability, stability and wind resistance to allow people to have a more positive experience of playing badminton outdoors.

The BWF is currently working with sports manufacturers to mass produce and rollout the AirShuttle. The eventual aim is for the shuttlecock to be played in winds up to 12 kilometers per hour.

“In the future, we see AirBadminton as an exciting, new, energetic version of the sport. Overall, the aim is to inspire more people to play more badminton in more places,” Hoyer added.

According to the BWF, Badminton has more than 300 million active players globally, most of which are in Asia and Europe.

“It’s also great that it is an inclusive game that can be enjoyed by people with disabilities,” said Dong Jiong, Atlanta 1996 men’s singles silver medallist and now Chinese national Para badminton head coach, who joined Hoyer in unveiling the AirShuttle.

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Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei retires after cancer battle

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Lee Chong Wei is a former World No. 1.

Putrajaya (Malaysia): Ace Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong Wei on Thursday announced his retirement after waging a battle with nose cancer. With this, his 19-year long illustrious career also came to a halt.

Lee, 36, was keen to return to the court post treatment. The shuttler, who spent a total of 348 weeks as world number one announced his retirement in a teary-eyed press conference.

“My decision to retire is a heavy one. I really love this sport. But it is a demanding sport,” Lee told mediapersons. He further said that he would now like to rest and spend time with his family, and even take his wife on a ‘honeymoon’.

A father of two, Lee was diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer last year and had received intensive treatment in Taiwan.

“I have no regrets. More important is my health, the decision to retire is very tough,” said Lee.

Lee also informed that his cancer treatment was now over. “My plan to retire was originally after the Olympic Games. I made this decision due to my health,” he explained.

Terming Lee as a ‘legend’, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Chief Norza Zakaria, who was also present at the presser, said: “It is a sad day. Lee is a legend and very dependable. We accept his decision.”

Earlier in 2018, Lee had bagged gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast (Australia). He has won 69 international titles and is a three-time Olympic silver medallist.

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Sindhu, Praneeth crash out of Australian Open

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PV Sindhu went down in 50 minutes.

Sydney: Star Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu got knocked out of the ongoing $150,000 Australian Open World Tour Super 300 tournament after suffering a defeat to Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol in the second round on Thursday.

Sindhu, who had defeated Indonesia’s Choirunnisa in the opening round, lost 19-21, 18-21 to Jindapol in a match that lasted for around 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles, sixth-seeded Sameer Verma also bowed out of the competition after suffering a 16-21, 21-7, 13-21 defeat in the second round against Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei.

B. Sai Praneeth, who had reached the finals of the Swiss Open this year, also lost his second-round match to Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 23-25, 9-21.

In men’s doubles, the Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also exited the tournament getting beaten by Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen 19-21, 18-21.

H.S. Prannoy and women’s doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy had also crashed out of the tournament after losing their respective first-round matches on Wednesday.

The mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy had also gone down fighting against Wang Chi-Lin and and Cheng Chi Ya of Chinese Taipei 17-21, 21-12, 16-21.

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India beaten by China, out of Sudirman Cup badminton tourney

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Nanning: India crashed out of the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championships after losing 0-5 to China in the second and final Group -1D match at Nanning in China today.

India’s mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost to Chinese combination of Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping 5-21 11-21 to trail 0-1.

Sameer Verma, who took the court after Kidambi Srikanth suffered a minor injury during practice sessions, lost to Olympic champion Chen Long 17-21 20-22 in the men’s singles as India slumped to 0-2 deficit.

The pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty was beaten by the world no 7 duo of Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong 21-18 15-21 17-21 in the men’s doubles to draw curtains to India’s campaign.

Saina Nehwal then went down 12-21 17-21 to All England Champion Chen Yufei in women’s singles match, while World no 3 women’s doubles pair of Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan beat Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki 21-12 21-15.

India had lost to Malaysia, 2-3 in their opening Group-1D match on Tuesday. India have never won a medal in the tournament. It reached the quarterfinals in 2011 and 2017.

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