For the second time since 2009, BWF World Championships (also known as the World Badminton Championship) is coming home for India as Badminton World Federation has announced India as the host country for the World Badminton Championship 2026. Previously, Hyderabad was the host city in 2009 to the illustrious event.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, President of Badminton Association of India (BAI) said, “Staging a tournament of the stature of World Championships is a great achievement for us at Badminton Association of India as well as for the country. We are thankful to BWF for considering India for Badminton’s most prestigious and premier tournament and I believe with world class shuttlers coming to participate will not only be a great opportunity and motivation for the enthusiasts of the game but will see a huge growth for the sport across the country too.”
Ajay Singhania, General Secretary of Badminton Association of India (BAI) said, “Indian Badminton has seen great success with two successive medals coming from Olympics and with this latest news of the World Championships is the right stimulant for the game.”On behalf of BAI I would like to express our thanks to BWF as well as organising such tournaments will be a milestone moment for Indian badminton too.”
The Indian starlet, PV Sindhu is the current world champion in the women’s singles category. In the past, she won bronze medals in 2013 and 214 editions of the world championship and silver medals in the 2017 and 2018 editions. She has also won silver medals at the Asian Games 2018 and Rio Olympics 2016, bronze medals in the Women’s singles at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 and Women’s team event at the Asian Games 2014.
Furthermore, she is also the recipient of national awards like Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2016, the Padma Shri award (the fourth-highest civilian award of India) in 2015 and the Padma Bhushan award (the third-highest civilian award of India) in 2020.
B Sai Praneeth is the 28-year-old participant in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and the bronze medallist at the 2019 BWF World Championship. In the past, he has won a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships 2010, a gold medal at the Thailand Open Grand Prix in 2017, BWF Super Series title winner at the Singapore Open and a silver medal at the Swiss Open 2019.
Saina Nehwal is the silver medallist at the BWF World Championship 2015 and bronze medallist at the 2017 edition. She has also won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2010, a gold medal at the China Open in 2014 and national awards like Padma Bhushan, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards in 2009, and Padma Shri in 2010.
Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta had won a bronze medal in the BWF World Championship 2011. The pair was also the Gold Medallist at the Commonwealth Games 2010.
The BWF had to make changes in the venues for the Championships due to the COVID-19 situation.
India was scheduled to host the Sudirman Cup, BWF World Mixed Team Championships in 2023. However, BWF changed the venue to China. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 situation, BWF had to change the venue for Sudirman Cup 2021 from Suzhou, China to Vantaa, Finland.
By Mohit Edupuganti