FOUR-STAR INDIAN OPEN TO DEBUT WITH SMALL FIELD
February 10, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The four-star Indian Open badminton
tournament, offering US$125,000 in prize money, makes it debut tomorrow at
the Indira Gandhi stadium in New Delhi.
Despite the prize money and the four-star ranking, the tourney has not
attracted a large number of top players, many of whom have chosen to
bypass the Indian Open and instead train for the more prestigious All-England
Open scheduled for mid-March, even though the two tournaments have the same
rating and purse (The All-England is also a four-star event and also offers
US$125,000 in prize money).
The Indian badminton association though have managed to confirm the
participation of Olympic men's singles gold medalist Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen
of Denmark and current world men's singles champion Heryanto Arbi of
Indonesia. Hoyer has been seeded first in the men's singles draw of 32
while Arbi who is coming back from an injury layoff and who is currently
world-ranked in the 20's has been seeded a joint 3rd-and-4th with fellow
Indonesian Dwi Aryanto.
Hendrawan, another Indonesian who is world-ranked in the 20's just ahead
of Arbi, is seeded second.
Indonesian men's singles ace Ardy Wiranata who is coming back from a bout
of hepatitis A is also entered, but is not seeded because of the unusually
small number of entries. Wiranata is currently world-ranked in the 30's.
The men's doubles also has a small field of 16 entries of mainly lesser-known
pairs. Top-seeds are Aras Razak and Hadi Sugianto of Indonesia, while Yap Yee
Guan and Yap Yee Hup of Malaysia are the second-seeds. Both pairs currently
are world-ranked in the mid-20's.
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