(SINGAPORE, 10 April 2017) – The qualifying rounds of the OUE Singapore Open will kick off tomorrow and shuttlers are primed for battle as they gear up for the South-East Asian Games and World Championships held later this year. Part of the MetLife BWF World Superseries, the OUE Singapore Open 2017 will be held from 11 to 16 April at the  SingaporeIndoor Stadium.

Amongst those bearing the Singapore flag are world no. 15 mixed doubles pair of Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han and world no. 26 men’s doubles Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Hendra Wijaya, who are all prepared to give their best and bring glory to the nation.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference held at Mandarin Orchard, Chua Yong Joo, chief coach of Singapore, mentioned, “The SEA Games is our main focus for the year and the OUE Open will be a good platform to benchmark our players against the world’s top shuttlers.”

The Women’s Singles category looks to be exceptionally tough, with eight of the top 10 women’s singles shuttlers set to battle it out. This was also a consensus between Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin (ESP) and defending champion Ratchanok Intanon

(THA), who were also present at the press conference. Speaking about her injuries after the 2016 Rio Olympics, Marin said, “After sustaining some injuries last year, I couldn’t train my 100% and had to forgo some tournaments. However, since January, I gave my all in practice, but it was not without any pain as when you practice hard, there is bound to be pain, but you have to endure it.”

Asked about how life has changed after winning the Olympics, Marin commented, “I’m happy to show my country that there is more than just football. More people also know about badminton and want to play!” “I think that anyone can win the tournament. For now, I just want to enjoy the game and do my very best, added Marin.

Ratchanok also echoed Marin’s sentiments, “The top 16 players are all similar in terms of their capabilities, so it is very difficult to predict who will win the women’s singles. As a defending champion, I want to do my best to defend my title, but I will not and cannot underestimate my opponents.”

Also hoping to defend his title is Sony Dwi Kuncoro from Indonesia. After his triumph over two-time Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan in the semi-finals and South Korean Son Wan Ho in the finals last year, Kuncoro is hoping to claim another Singapore Open title. The two-time (2010 and 2016) men’s singles champion thinks that the biggest challenge for him is taking control of his game and returning to where he was last year.