Sydney, June 7: The superstars of badminton have arrived in Sydney to compete in one of the world’s most prestigious badminton events – the XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open, which takes place from June 7-12, 2016 at Sydney Olympic Park.

The stellar line-up of international players including Saina Nehwal (India) and current World No.1 Chen Long (China) will play alongside World No. 2 Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) in Sydney.

Adding to the strong line-up is No. 1 Women’s Doubles Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) and current Men’s Doubles World Champions Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan (Indonesia).

During the tournament some of the top players enjoyed Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.

More than 90 light installations and projections light up the city for the annual Vivid Sydney festival, projecting colourful light art on the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and throughout the city.

The players also took a Sydney Harbour cruise to see Vivid Sydney from the water, including Goh Liu Ying (Malaysia), Goh Jin Wei (Malaysia), Chen Qingchen (China), Lai Pei Jing (Malaysia), Vivian Kah Mun Hoo (Malaysia) and Yip Pui Yin (Hong Kong).

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres said, “It’s great to see the world’s best badminton players in NSW this week, enjoying Vivid Sydney on our spectacular Harbour.

The Australian Badminton Open is one of the highlights on NSW’s winter events calendar, and with the event broadcast to more than 200 million homes around the world, it will see Sydney and Vivid Sydney reach a massive audience.”

The Australian Badminton Open is one of 12 events on the Badminton World Federation Superseries tour, offering US$750,000 in prize money as well as the chance for competitors to earn qualifying points for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Destination NSW CEO and Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney Sandra Chipchase said, Badminton has a huge profile and following in countries such as China, Malaysia, India, Korea and Indonesia.

“Events such as XIAMENAIR Australian Badminton Open and our Vivid Sydney festival are key drivers of international tourism and reasons why Sydney and NSW welcomed 3.6 million overseas visitors* in 12 months,” she said.

All England mixed doubles sensations Debby Susanto and her partner with perhaps the most thunderous smash on earth right now, Praveen Jordan, today take on Koreans Kim Jae Hwan / Kim Ji Won.

Spectators arriving this evening can look forward to World Champions Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan showing off their skills.

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