The OUE Singapore Open 2014 (featured image) has scored a first for badminton by ranking ninth in the Association Internationale De La Presse Sportive (AIPS) poll for the world’s Best Press Facility in 2014.
It is the first time a badminton tournament has broken into the top ten of this annual poll run by the international organisation for sporting media to judge press facilities at sporting events. The top three places for last year went to the FIFA World Cup (Brazil); the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games (Russia) and Wimbledon (tennis; Britain) respectively.
“It is an amazing achievement,” said AIPS Badminton Commission chairman William Kings, “especially when you consider that the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the Wimbledon Grand Slam tennis tournament occupied the top three places.
“But this breakthrough provides the perfect platform for the AIPS Badminton Commission to launch our own Media Award, especially with the opening event on the 2015 MetLife BWF Superseries circuit, the Yonex All England Open Championships, less than three weeks away.”
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund also lauded the accomplishment of the Singapore Open which is among 12 tournaments comprising the MetLife BWF World Superseries. The event, held in Singapore Indoor Stadium last year, ticked all the boxes for media facilities and photography positions.
“Various aspects of our badminton events have improved significantly in recent years and this is another example of how our sport is stepping up at the international level. We are pleased to learn of this recognition which salutes media services at global sports events. To be counted among the best worldwide for 2014 is fantastic and we congratulate organisers of the OUE Singapore Open and look forward to continued high standards at that tournament.
“We also hope this will be impetus for other badminton tournaments to realise the importance of servicing the media well and to raise the bar at their own events.”
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Badminton Association, Ronnie Lim, pledged that his team will continue to excel in media servicing by “providing good facilities for the press so more publicity will be generated for badminton”.
There was more good news for badminton in the AIPS honour roll for 2014 with BWF World champions, Chen Long of China and Carolina Marin of Spain, figuring on the Best Male Athlete and Best Female Athlete lists respectively while Japan’s Thomas Cup winners was voted among the Best Teams for the year.
Chen Long placed 17th among a stellar field, headlined by German goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer; tennis legend, Roger Federer; and football supremo, Cristiano Ronaldo. Meanwhile, Marin – last season’s shock sensation at the BWF World Championships in Copenhagen – ranked ninth among female sports stars in a poll won by American tennis queen, Serena Williams, with biathlete Darya Domracheva (Belarus) and cross-country skier, Marit Bjørgen (Norway), placing second and third. Japan’s Men World Team champions placed 13th on the Best Team list, with Germany’s FIFA World Cup winners claiming the No.1 spot, followed by Real Madrid’s footballers and Switzerland’s Davis Cup (tennis) champions.
“These results herald a great breakthrough for badminton overall and it’s now for us to capitalise on the attention and recognition which we are getting globally. It shows the media is watching us and it’s a great opportunity which we must take advantage of,” noted Lund.
Read the latest AIPS magazine (featuring poll results):
AIPS Badminton Commission