Bhubaneswar, Jan 24 (IANS): Odisha Open Super 100, the first-ever international badminton tournament, recognised by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), on Odisha soil is all set to start at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Cuttack, on Tuesday.
About 350 players from 17 countries are participating in this tournament. While the preparations for this mega tournament are almost completed, players had their practice sessions at Cuttack on Monday.
The tournament is being organised with the joint efforts of the Odisha Sports and Youth Services department, Badminton Association of India and Odisha State Badminton Association.
The tournament will be played in four courts at JNIS Cuttack. The venue is absolutely ready to host the first-ever international badminton event at Odisha, officials said.
Since the tournament is played as per the Covid-19 guidelines, no spectators will be allowed to enter the stadium. Covid tests of all players, technical officials, volunteers have been conducted after they arrived at Bhubaneswar and only those found negative are being allowed to enter into stadium premises, they said.
Significantly, while Odisha has earned a name in the international circuit for organising international sports events successfully, mainly in the fields of hockey and athletics, the Odisha Open Super 100 is all set to add another feather to its cap.
On the eve of the beginning of the tournament, State Sports Minister Tushar Kanti Behera said, "It is a matter of pride for our state to host such a prestigious sports event. I hope each member of the organising team will exhibit their same zeal and enthusiasm, which they had shown during the hosting of other international sports events in the State, for making this tournament a grand success."
According to the officials, the matches would be played in five categories, i.e. men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.
"About three hundred fifty players from as many as seventeen countries of the Globe are competing in five events in this tournament, in which there have been 75,000 US dollar cash prize will be given to the winners," said Girish Nattu, deputy chief referee of this tournament.
Later in the day, legendary badminton coach, Pullela Gopichand arrived in the city and interacted with the players practising at the stadium and encouraged them for their events ahead.