Almost 900 entrants – including former badminton stars and various persons over age 70 – will vie for supremacy at the BWF World Senior Championships, starting today in Ankara, Turkey.
Now in its sixth edition, this week-long tournament has attracted a massive 899 players from 40 countries. Forty gold medals will be up for grabs inside Ankara Spor Salonu Stadium as action unfolds in the five accustomed singles and doubles events in eight age categories (+35, +40, +45, +50, +55, +60 +65 and +70).
This year, the Indian contingent is the largest at the biennial gathering, with 132 competitors, while England has 94; France, 82; Germany, 72; Denmark, 63; Turkey, 61; Japan, 58; Russia, 54; and Sweden, also 54.
Among the notable personalities participating in the BWF World Senior Championships are Eddy Hartono of Indonesia (1992 Olympic Men’s Doubles silver medallist) in the +40 age group; England’s former top Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles player, Julie Bradbury (+40 age group); Dan Travers of Scotland, the former Commonwealth Games gold medallist and European bronze medallist (top seed in + 55 Men’s Singles); and Men’s Doubles pair, Jesper Helledie and Steen Fladberg, top seeds in +55 age range. The Danes were the world champions in 1983.
* There will be 1189 matches in the tournament.
* Tart Kornchankul of Thailand is the oldest male competitor, aged 77 (December 1935). He is playing in Men’s Singles.
* Randi Gulbrandsen of Norway (left) is the oldest female competitor, aged 78. She is playing in Women’s Singles; Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
For further information on the BWF World Senior Championships 2013, please click here.
Text by Gayle Alleyne | Photo compliments of the Norwegian Badminton Association