New Delhi: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and India ace Saina Nehwal will be the centre of attraction at the Yonex Sunrise India Open 2013, to be held here at the Siri Fort Indoor Complex from April 23 to 28. The Malaysian star, who won the inaugural India Open Superseries title in 2011, and world No. 2 Saina will spearhead the challenge in the men's and women's categories, respectively at the USD 200,000 Indian leg of the OSIM BWF World Superseries 12-event championship.
Over 200 international men and women shuttlers from 18 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Denmark, Germany, England, China, Korea, Japan, besides India have confirmed their participation to the Badminton Association of India. In addition to Chong Wei and Saina, the line-up includes the women's world No. 4 Juliane Schenk from Germany, men's No.
4 Sony Dwi Kuncoro from Indonesia, the 2013 Yonex All-England Open women's runners-up Ratnachok Intathon of Thailand, and Olympics men's doubles silver medallist and world No. 1 pair, Mathias Boe and Cartsen Mogensen of Denmark. In the men's singles category, former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat and compatriot Simon Santoso will represent Indonesia, while world No.6 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark and Japanese star Kenichi Tago will be aiming to lift their maiden India Open crown. Badminton powerhouse China will field world No. 7 Chen Jin and No. 11 Wang Jhengming. The action in the doubles events, too, promises to be a sizzling affair as almost all the top pairs have confirmed their participation.
World No. 2 Malaysian pair of Kien Keat Koo and Boon Heong Tan, star Korean duo of Ko Sung Hyun and Lee Yong Dae and the world No. 2 women's pair of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi from Japan, world No.3 women's doubles duo of Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark are geared up for their India sojourn. The home campaign will be led by Saina, seeking her maiden victory in the event, while the 'golden girls' of Indian badminton, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will be pairing up with new partners for the first time in the history of the tournament.
CWG doubles champion Ponnappa will pair up with Pradnya Gadre this time, while Gutta will partner Prajakta Sawant. It will be a nostalgic return for the men's world No. 8 Parupalli Kashyap, the highest-ranked Indian men shuttler, who shot into the limelight through a dramatic performance in the previous edition. Last year, the Hyderabadi qualified here for the 2012 Olympics, piping compatriot Ajay Jayaram.
This year both Kashyap and Jayaram would be looking forward to impressive finishes. The other Indians in the fray will be women's world No. 16 P V Sindhu and Arundhati Pantawane and promising men shuttlers -- RMV Gurusaidutt, Sai Praneeth and K Srikanth.
"We look forward to a smashing tournament this year. Our endeavour is to bring the best badminton players from all over the world to India, and make the India Open a top destination for all badminton fans," BAI President Akhilesh Das Gupta said.