|The Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. (ATR)|| |
The IBF World Badminton Championships begin today in Anaheim, California, marking the first time that the IBF Championships have been held in the United States. There are expected to be more than 300 athletes from over 50 countries and regions competing for the World title.
The event comes two years after the United States hosted the 2003 Gymnastics World Championships, the last major world championships to take place in the country. Coincidentally, the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, which hosted the Gymnastics Worlds in 2003, will also host the IBF Worlds this week.
In the United States, only 15 competitors will be sent, with 11 of them residing in Southern California. For those athletes, the chance to play in their own country is seen as a chance to grow the sport.
"To bring up the level of badminton here is my goal. It's popular here, but it's a backyard sport," Tony Gunawan, a member of the U.S. team, told the Los Angeles Times.
Tickets for the championships range from $8-$30 for the first days of the competition, with prices increasing to $25-$75 for the final day. The event continues until Sunday.More Olympic news at Around the Rings.Com, for subscribers only.