India to host 2026 badminton world championship

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India will host the World Badminton Championships in 2026, the sport’s global governing body, BWF, said on Tuesday. India were scheduled to organise the Sudirman Cup in 2023 but the Badminton World Federation decided to award the hosting rights of the world mixed team championships to China.

The BWF was forced to shift this year’s Sudirman Cup from Suzhou, China to Vantaa, Finland due to the COVID-19 situation in the Asian country.

“Suzhou will now stage the 2023 edition of the BWF World Mixed Team Championships, with original 2023 hosts India accepting the opportunity to host the BWF World Championships in 2026,” the BWF said in a media release.

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“The Badminton World Federation (BWF) can confirm Suzhou, China has been awarded the hosting rights of the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023.

“Suzhou was due to host the championships in 2021, but with BWF unable to stage any tournaments in China this year, the event was switched to Vantaa in Finland.”

This will only be the second time that India will be hosting the world championship, with Hyderabad having played hosts to the prestigious event in 2009.

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“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,” Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

“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.”

The Olympic-bound P V Sindhu is the reigning world champion in women’s singles. Sindhu also has two silver and two bronze medals at the worlds.

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B Sai Praneeth had ended a 36-year-long wait for a men’s singles world championships medal at Basel, Switzerland two year ago.

Saina Nehwal had won the silver and bronze in 2015 and 2017 editions, while the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta had bagged a bronze in London in 2011.

“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,” BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said.

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“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.”

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