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World No 1 Axelsen leads line-up at returning Singapore Badminton Open

World No 1 Axelsen leads line-up at returning Singapore Badminton Open

File photo of Denmark's Viktor Axelsen. (Photo: AFP/Lillian SUWANRUMPHA)

SINGAPORE: The world's top-ranked male player and the recently crowned SEA Games champions are among the headliners at this year's Singapore Badminton Open, which makes its return after a pandemic-enforced two-year hiatus.

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen, the world No 1 and reigning Olympic champion, will feature at the tournament, as will Thai ace Kunlavut Vitidsarn, the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) said on Wednesday (May 25).

Vitidsarn defeated Singapore's Loh Kean Yew to claim gold at the recent 31st SEA Games - a matchup that could see a repeat at the Open, scheduled to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from Jul 12 to Jul 17.

The participation of world champion Loh, along with Singapore mixed doubles pair Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han, was announced earlier this month.

Axelsen, who has never won in Singapore, had pulled out of this month's Thailand Open, citing an injury he sustained playing in the Thomas and Uber Cups. 

Two other Danes, third-ranked Anders Antonsen and world No 13 Rasmus Gemke, are also taking part this year. 

In the women's field, Pornpawee Chochuwong and Phittayaporn Chaiwan will feature at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Chochuwong recently beat Chaiwan in an all-Thai affair at the SEA Games singles final. 

Current men's doubles world champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai will also join the Thai contingent, which also includes veteran and Singapore Open 2016 champion Ratchanok Intatnon.

Other participants include China's Chen Yu Fei, the world's fourth-ranked woman. The current world champions and top-ranked women’s doubles team of Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan will also make the trip to Singapore.

The Singapore Open was last held in 2019 when Kento Momota of Japan and Taiwanese Tai Tzu-ying were crowned the men's and women's singles champions.

Source: CNA/nh(ac)

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