Million-rupee bonanza up for grabs at Badminton Nationals

Monday, 13 January 2020 08:48 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

67th Sri Lanka Badminton Nationals Chief Referee Ajith Wijesinghe speaking during a press conference for the event


The 67th Badminton National Championships and the 37th Badminton Junior Nationals for 2020 will take place at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo from 13-18 January, with a Rs. 1 million cash bonanza up for grabs in the Senior category. 

The Junior category is also filled with a host of prizes on top of the trophies and medals on offer for all winners. The Badminton National Championship was slated to be played in November 2019 but had to be pushed back because of the Presidential Election.

Hundreds of top shuttlers from across the country will be in the hunt for the coveted National Champion titles during the six-day competition which is played to international standards with 10 synthetic courts used for the first time in a local tournament. 

Popularly known as the Nationals, these two most important tournaments on the country’s badminton calendar, organised by Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB) in partnership with the Sri Lanka Schools Badminton Association (SLSBA), have attracted Sri Lanka’s top players in both the Senior and Junior categories. 

The shuttlers will compete in 24 event classes in the Senior category, while the Junior Nationals will see emerging young shuttlers vying for top honours in 18 different age class events. Apart from the open titles, players will be looking to bag top honours in the Under-23, Over-35, Over-40, Over-45, Over-50, Over-55, Over-60, Over-65 and Over-70 Men’s and Women’s Singles as well as in the Over 40, Over-45, Over-50, Over-55, Over-60, Over-65 and Over-70 Men’s and Women’s Doubles events. The Junior Nationals will see young shuttlers competing in the Under-18 events across five age groups: Under-11, Under-13, Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 Boys’ and Girls’ Singles and Under-13, Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 Boys’ and Girls’ Doubles.

Addressing a gathering at a media conference held in Colombo, Tournament Committee Chairman and SLB Past President Parakrama Basnayake stated that in his entire badminton career, no badminton event had been put together on such a lavish scale, with great efforts taken to introduce top-class international standards into the local game so as to attract the best in the island and help raise the stature of the sport following the excellent showing of the national team at the South Asian Games in Nepal in December 2019. Chairman Basnayake in his address applauded the efforts of the SLB President for his unstinted support and generous funding of the sport, which has energised the badminton community to a level not witnessed before. 

The tournament draw will be held on 10 January at 10.00 a.m. at the SLB headquarters and will be published on the SLB noticeboards and its official website as well as on the SLSBA website.

Defending Singles Champions Dinuka Karunaratne and Thilini Hendahewa will attract the majority of attention and will be vying for the two most sought after badminton titles in the island, despite strong competition from several talented shuttlers who are determined to make a difference this time around. In the previous edition of the event, Thilini and Kavidi Sirimannage won the Women’s Doubles title while Kavidi and Buwaneka Gunatilleka won the Mixed Doubles title. Sachin Dias and Gunatilleka captured top honours in the Men’s Doubles.