MANILA, Philippines – World-class shuttlecock action springs into action on Wednesday when the $120,000 Bingo Bonanza Philippines Open Badminton Championships start at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Local fans will have the rare opportunity to witness top 10 players in the world when the elimination round in several divisions begins at 10 in the morning.
Seeing action are world No. 2 Zhou Mi of Hong Kong, Andrew Smith of England, Vietnam's top player Nguyen Tien Minh, former world junior champion Chen Long of China, and Hong Kong's Yip Pui Yin in the singles division.
The Indonesian pair of Meiliana Jauhari and Shendy Iwarati and its men's tandems of Bona Septano-Mohammad Ahsan and Rian Sukmawan-Yonathan Dasuki are ready for action in the doubles event.
However, even as these world-class athletes compete for top honors, their local counterparts will be taking the court hoping to make the best of the opportunities coming their way in the tough and intense competition.
Mainly, the Filipinos will be looking for world ranking points in the men's and ladies singles, men's and ladies doubles and mixed doubles that could possibly propel them into the main draw of the London Olympics.
Local competitors who will try to make waves against the tide of foreign contingents will be led anew by veteran brother-sister tandem of Kennevic and Kennie Asuncion.
Upcoming talents Malvinne Alcala, Gelita Castillo, Kelvin Ang and Peter and Patrick Magnaye are also eyeing podium finishes in the event.
The Philippines actually has 74 entries in different events while Indonesia, China and Hong Kong have 30, 23 and 22 entries, respectively. Malaysia sent a 16-player contingent while Singapore have 14 players and Japan nine.
There are 53 teams vying for the men's doubles crown while 32 pairs will contest the ladies doubles title. A total of 48 teams will fight for the mixed doubles event. Fifty seven players will compete in the men's singles event and 39 in the ladies division.