MARQUEE PLAYERS ON AXIATA CUP TRAIL ONCE AGAIN!
KUALA LUMPUR (17 OCTOBER 2014): The Axiata Cup is back for its third installment and being one of the richest badminton team championships in the world, the 2014 edition is bound to be the home of some of badminton’s finest players around the world come this November.
With total prize money of US$ 1 million (RM 3.3 million) on offer, the Axiata Cup will get off in Jakarta, Indonesia from November 27 to December 3 while Kuala Lumpur will play host to the semifinals and finals on Dec 6-7 at the KL Badminton Stadium in Cheras.
A stellar lineup is in store and defending champions Malaysia will be set to defend their title against competition from arch rivals Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, All-Europe and All-Star Asia teams.
Axiata Group Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, said: “It is our goal to see this tournament progress to greater heights after each year and I am confident that the third edition will keep badminton fans on the edge of their seats with more thrilling action on the courts.”
The Axiata Cup, which is sanctioned by Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC), will be played out based on a team competition format. It uses a four-match tie format including two singles (men’s and women’s) and two doubles (men’s and mixed).
The champions will receive US$400,000, while the runners-up will earn US$200,000, third-placed team US$150,000, fourth US$100,000, fifth US$60,000, sixth US$40,000, seventh US$30,000 and eighth spot US$20,000.
BAC president, Dato’ Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, said: “Axiata is no stranger to supporting our local badminton scene and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on successfully making the third edition of the Axiata Cup a reality.”
“BAC and Axiata, together with our other partners, have been working closely in developing badminton in Malaysia. With our endless efforts put together I can proudly say that we have been moving the right way,” he added.
This year, Axiata has taken on a new challenge as they have opted to give back even more to this racquet sport by announcing the inaugural edition of the Axiata Cup Juniors which is channelled to develop a new breed of junior players.
The preliminary round of the Axiata Cup Juniors which is in progress got off to successful start with an estimated 3,600 students between 8-18 years of age signing up for the tournament.
Former national player Cheah Soon Kit – the first Malaysian to win a silver medal at the Olympics – and his panel of selectors which includes Yogendran Krishnan, Yeoh Kay Bin, Yeoh Kay Lun and Roslin Hashim will select 32 of the best players (both boys and girls) at the end of preliminary stage to compete at the state-level championships.
The champions from the State Championships will then battle for the elusive title in the National Finals which will be held at the KLBA Stadium on December 4.
Axiata and its partners will offer RM1, 500 together with Li Ning Racquets and Huawei hand phones to each State champion in both the boys and girls categories.
In the National Finals, the respective winners in the boys category will stand to take home RM500 each while the winners of the girls division will receive RM300.
Dato’ Sri Jamaludin, added “Exposing these youngster to the sport at an early age is vital and competing in the Axiata Cup Juniors is about playing and feeling the excitement of a true professional badminton player.”
As a long-term plan the Axiata Cup Juniors is to reach out to close to 1.8 million students along the way and together with the support of the Badminton Association of Malaysia they hope to develop a bigger pool of world class players that Malaysia will be able to choose from.
BAM president, Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, said: “I will not be surprise to see some talented amateurs emerge from this tournament, given badminton’s immense popularity here in Malaysia and I would like to wish Axiata well in the endeavour.
“BAM is proud to be able to share these values with a world famous brand like Axiata and all the partners, and I would like to assure them our full backing for the development of this sport.”
For a record, the inaugural edition of the Axiata Cup in 2012 was named the No. 1 event in the Event Marketing Category at the 7th International Sport Event Management Conference and also in 2013, the Axiata Cup won the bronze medal in the Best Use of Technology category in the ISEM 2013 awards.
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