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Badminton Hosts Boston Open

By Jui Shan Yong

CLUB MEMBER

This weekend, MIT will host the 2001 Boston Open Badminton Tournament at the Du Pont Gymnasium.

Since 1998, the MIT Badminton Club has been organizing and hosting tournaments, attracting over 180 players from some 20 states and four countries. The Boston Open has established itself as one of the largest tournaments staged in the United States. It has attracted some of the top U.S. shuttlers with its enticing prize money and its solid reputation, nurtured over the last four years.

This tournament promises a weekend of a captivating display of brilliant stroke craft with high leaps, fast speed smashes, stylish cross-court shots and swift footwork.

Although less popular in the United States, badminton has a strong following around the world. Badminton has been featured as a full-medal event in the Olympics since the 1992 event in Barcelona.

Badminton is one the world’s fastest racket sports, requiring quick reflexes, fast moves and agility. In top international competitions, the shuttlecock in a smash has been timed to speed over 200 miles per hour. Badminton is also a demanding aerobic sport. In a typical two-game match, a player runs the equivalent of approximately 1.62 kilometers.

The Boston Open, considered the most prestigious annual badminton tournament in the country after the U.S. Open, is attracting an increasingly higher caliber of players from both the United States and abroad. Some of the top-ranked players of the 2000 Boston Open came from Canada and Russia. For this year’s Boston Open, it is anticipated that over 200 competitors as well as many eager spectators will attend.

By hosting this event, the MIT Badminton Club hopes to kindle interest and promote badminton in the region. The Boston Open is an important tournament -- it will be used in determining United States Badminton Association’s players’ rankings. Indeed, you might be watching the making of the next World Champion playing right here in Boston this weekend in Du Pont.