The Indonesian love affair with badminton is set for an exciting new chapter with AirBadminton’s debut at the ANOC World Beach Games in Bali next year.
BWF Development Director Ian Wright, who was in Bali last week for the International Federation Technical Delegate meeting and site visits, is thrilled at what is likely to unfold.
“We had a few site visits. To be honest, you can’t find a bad location in Bali. In the east side there’s more wind, so we looked more at the west side,” Wright said.
A promising site at the Jimbaran Cluster was identified; the aim of building the venue will be not just to host the event but create a legacy and infrastructure for the local community to enjoy after the World Beach Games.
Conducted by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), the second World Beach Games will take place 5-12 August 2023. AirBadminton will feature 72 athletes (36 men and 36 women) across four medal events: men’s triples, women’s triples, mixed doubles, and mixed team relay.
Wright believes Indonesia is the ideal location for AirBadminton’s debut, given the country’s passion for badminton.
“The interest in badminton will translate to AirBadminton. I think people will take to it. We’re looking to have some really big names participating,” said Wright.
“This will be a major event. People will be surprised at the scale of this. The opening ceremony will be attended by the Indonesian President and IOC President Thomas Bach.
“There’s a lot of local expertise… Time is a challenge, but I’m confident in the Local Organising Committee, they look strong. They have a good understanding of badminton. There has been good response so far. They will present it very differently. It gives us a chance to look at our sports presentation differently.”