Sports

More world-class shuttlers sign up for Singapore Open

World No 1s Momota, Tai among the latest to confirm participation in April event

The stars are aligning for the Singapore Badminton Open in April.

Yesterday, world champion Kento Momota confirmed his participation in the event, along with others such as Asian Games gold medallist Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan and 2016 Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu of India.

Momota became the first Japanese man to top the world rankings in 2017, completing a remarkable comeback after being suspended for a year by Japan's badminton association for visiting an illegal casino.

The world No. 1's confirmation for the World Tour Super 500 event means at least seven of the world's current top 12 men' s shuttlers will be doing battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from April 9-14.

Besides the Japanese, the others are defending champion Chou Tien-chen (world No. 3), 2016 Olympic champion Chen Long (No. 4), India's Srikanth Kidambi (No. 8), Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto (No. 10), Japan's Kenta Nishimoto (No. 11) and five-time world champion Lin Dan (No. 12).

There could be more stars signing up before registration ends next Tuesday.

The women's field has also seen entries from seven players in the current top 12.

Tai, who won the Singapore Open in 2017 and is currently the world No. 1, will be facing the challenge of Japanese shuttlers Nozomi Okuhara (No. 2), Akane Yamaguchi (No. 5), Sayaka Takahashi (No. 10), India's PV Sindhu (No. 6) and Saina Nehwal (No. 9) and Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon (No. 8).

All three reigning doubles world champions will also be here - China's Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen (men's doubles), Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong (mixed doubles), and Japan's Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara (women's doubles).

This means of all the reigning world champions, only women's singles winner Carolina Marin won't be here.

The Spaniard is out for at least six months after undergoing surgery on her right knee on Jan 29. She had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament at last month's Indonesian Masters.

Singapore will be represented by the likes of Loh Kean Yew, who stunned Lin Dan last month to win the Thailand Masters.

Michael Foo, the spokesman for the Singapore Open's organising committee, has urged fans to get their tickets early.

He said: "This year's Singapore Badminton Open line-up is one that badminton fans will not want to miss.

"From defending champs to world champs, it has all the makings of an action-packed week. Fans have slightly more than a week left to purchase their tickets at early-bird rates, so definitely don't let this opportunity slip."

Tickets are available via Sports Hub Tix and APAC Tix. Early-bird rates end on Feb 28.


FYI

WHAT: Singapore Badminton Open

WHEN: April 9-14

WHERE: Singapore Indoor Stadium

WHO: Some of the world's top badminton players, including world No. 1 Kento Momota, five-time world champion Lin Dan and 2016 Olympic gold medallist Chen Long, will be here.

Top women's players include world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying, former Olympic champion Li Xuerui, and Japan's Nozomi Okuhara, Akane Yamaguchi and Sayaka Takahashi.

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