Badminton stars concerned about new format

World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen, Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei and China's Lin Dan have expressed concerns about a new badminton tournament structure requiring players to compete in more events.

The complaints emerged at the Malaysia Masters, which has been upgraded this year by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) as it looks to raise the sport's profile and ramp up revenues.

The new Tour series features six levels and higher prize money, but it also requires athletes to compete in more events.

However, some stars have complained that competing in so many events this year would be a burden.

Lee, who lost to Japan's Kenta Nishimoto on Wednesday, said: "I'm not 25 anymore, I'm 36 this year."

Denmark's Axelsen, who beat South Korea's Lee Hyun Il in the opening round, was also critical: "We would rather have high quality than too many tournaments where the best players can't perform because we don't have time to train." - AFP