Because of an unforeseen scheduling conflict with the individual and team matches at the World Masters Games badminton competition, the International Group to Promote Badminton (IGPB) has been forced to CANCEL the free Yang Yang-Zhao Jianhua miniclinic and exhibition previously announced for Saturday, August 22 at the South San Francisco High School.

The badminton competition has been shortlisted for inclusion in a multi-hour delayed telecast of the World Masters Games on ESPN and ESPN2. While not a definite certainty, the IGPB and other persons involved in the World Masters Games and in the promotion of badminton in the USA felt that the presence of Yang Yang and Zhao Jianhua in both individual and team events until August 22 would greatly enhance the probability that badminton will get some good television exposure in the USA.

Sources familiar with the planned telecast report that ESPN production staff has been at work doing research on the sport and on Yang Yang and Zhao Jianhua in particular, in preparation for taping and showing one or some of their matches. The same sources also indicate that while inclusion of badminton in the World Masters Games telecast is not a 100 percent certainty, there is a good chance of it happening.

Yang Yang and Zhao Jianhua had explored with the World Masters Games organizers the possibility of completing all the matches in the 30+ elite age group by Friday so that they could hold the San Francisco exhibition as scheduled. This however turned out to be non-doable for various reasons, including destroying this best chance for some badminton exposure on American TV in the past several years.

IGPB apologizes to the San Francisco badminton community for the cancellation and hope that they understand that IGPB could not let this good opportunity to get some TV time for badminton disappear.

IGPB is making an effort to replace the August 22 event with a Yang Yang-Zhao exhibition on Sunday, August 23, in the San Francisco area and we will post any developments as soon as a place and time is arranged.

David Simmons

-- This message has been forwarded to you via the Badminton mailing list.

Stan Bischof (stan@worldbadminton.com)