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Hong Kong Badminton Open to return to Hong Kong Coliseum, Hung Hom next month after a three year absence; Lee Cheuk-yin hopes to win it again at home venue

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Hong Kong Badminton Open to return to Hong Kong Coliseum, Hung Hom next month after a three year absence; Lee Cheuk-yin hopes to win it again at home venue
2023-08-11

Hong Kong Badminton Open to return to Hong Kong Coliseum, Hung Hom next month after a three year absence; Lee Cheuk-yin hopes to win it again at home venue

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The six-day VICTOR Hong Kong Open Badminton Championships 2023 part of the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 500, will take place at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom on September 12-17. The organisers held a press conference today (Aug 10) to announce details of the event.

World number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the men’s singles and world number two Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the women’s singles will be joined by a squad of 13 home players including Angus Ng Ka-long, Lee Cheuk-yiu, Tang Chun-man, Tse Ying-suet, etc. All Hong Kong players are looking forward to playing again at the home venue, with Lee setting sights on defending his men’s singles crown to boost his Olympic qualification hopes.

The Hong Kong Open, which has not been held over the last three years, will return to the Coliseum next month as part of the World Tour and a Super 500 series. The tournament is also recognised as a “M” mark event. For the first time, the event will be supported by famous badminton brand VICTOR as the title sponsor, increasing the total prize money to its highest ever US$420,000 (approximate HK$3.28 million).

The event is also part of the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers. The organisers announced at the press conference that they had received 364 entries from 33 countries and regions and accepted 276 players for the competition, including 37 from the biggest team Japan.

World number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark will head the men’s singles list and will be joined by women’s world number two Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, compatriots Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, bronze medallists at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and men’s doubles Olympic champions Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin. As the host, Hong Kong will also send its best players, including 2019 men’s singles champion Lee Cheuk-yiu, Hong Kong number one singles Ng Ka-long, Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet and Lee Chun-hei and Ng Tsz-yau in the mixed doubles.

Chairman of the Hong Kong Badminton Association Tong Wai-lun also mentioned that the event had previously finished on a particular night at 1am and also because of the latest world trend, they had decided to start the event earlier this year, with the semi-finals starting on 10am and 5pm respectively. President of the association Tong Yun-kai said with the Hangzhou Asian Games to take place in about 40 days, the tournament will provide the players the best chance to test their form and attract fans from all over the world to come to Hong Kong to watch.

Popular mixed doubles pair ‘Tang and Tse’ will be playing at home for the first time after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and are looking forward to playing at the Hung Hom Coliseum. Tang hoped they could get a good result to pay back the fans and Tse also said they also took it very serious of the Hong Kong Open in previous years. “My relatives and fans can come and support us,” she said. “In fact, I have been wondering over the last three years that if I can still have the chance of playing at the home because I am getting older. Now with the chance coming back, I will be eager to play again. Although there may be more pressure of playing at home, it will also push me to take the tournament more serious.”

Defending champion Lee Cheuk-yiu, who won the men’s singles title in 2019, said both this year’s event and the 2019 tournament are part of the Olympic qualifiers as he really wanted to win it again to boost his Olympic qualifying campaign while Hong Kong number one Angus Ng Ka-long said the home fans had not watched the event over the last couple of years and wanted to see more support from them than before. Ng said he would not set any target because ‘the top 30 players are very strong and all will depend on how they play on that day’.

Tickets will be available at the URBTIX from August 15. However, there will no tickets selling at the sales counters and the self-service ticketing kiosks on the first day. The qualifying round and the men’s and women’s doubles first round on September 12 will provide free tickets and please send a return envelope with a HK$2.2 stamp to the Hong Kong Badminton Association to obtain with a maximum four tickets per person until stock lasts. Ticket prices for the first round on Sep13 &14 will be from HK$40-$180 while the quarterfinals ticket price will be from HK$60-$300. The semi-finals ticket prices on Sep 16 are from HK$70-$420. The highest ticket price for the final is HK$680. For details, please visit the Hong Kong Open website www.hkopenbadminton.org