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World-class field on show for NZ Open (pic)

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Category: Badminton News Published: 25 March 2014
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 1885

Two former world No1 badminton players are in the field for next month's New Zealand Open at North Shore Events Centre.

Throw in a former world No3 and the quality of the field will be just about the best seen in the country.Korea's Lee Hyun-il was fourth at the London Olympics in 2012.

Korea's Lee Hyun-Il was the game's top-ranked male player midway through the 2000s. He was beaten in the semifinals at the 2008 Olympics and lost the bronze medal playoff in London two years ago.

Indonesian Simon Santoso got as high as No3 on the ranking list. The 29-year-old has a string of international titles to his name.

The other former world No1, Koo Kien Keat, 29, is a five-times Commonwealth Games gold medallist, a world championship silver medallist and Olympic bronze medallist in London two years ago.

With regular partner Boon Heong Tan, the pair are ranked No10 in the world.

The top-ranked player in the men's singles field is Jen Hao Hsu of Taiwan, at No28.

"I am thrilled at the quality and number of players entered across all events," tournament director Julie Carrel said. "All these players have huge respect in the sport and bring a touch of class to the tournament."

The 240 players entered from 16 countries in the world grand prix status event include solid representation from powerhouses Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand.

Auckland's Michelle Chan is the fourth highest ranked player on the entry list and there are 13 New Zealanders in the women's singles entry list. The SkyCity-sponsored Open runs from April 15-19.

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