China Sports: China to Host 2018 BWF World Championships, 2019 BWF Sudirman Cup
China is reportedly set to host two major world badminton events in the next two years as Nanjing was given the privilege to host the 2018 BWF World Championships while the southern city of Nanning was awarded the holding of the 2019 BWF Sudirman Cup.
The BWF World Championships, formerly recognized as the IBF World Championships or World Badminton Championships, has been an annual event since 2006. The winners of the said tournament are awarded with gold medals and the distinction of "World Champions", but are not given any prize money.
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It started as a bi-annual tournament from 1985 to 2005 before Badminton World Federation (BWF) officials decided to make it a yearly tournament to provide more opportunities for the world's top badminton players to be named as formal world champions of the sport. However, it is not held every four years because of the Summer Olympic competitions.
The most recent Men's Singles winner is former world no. 1 Chen Long of China in 2015 while Spain's Carolina Marin was the Women's Singles champions at that time.
Xinhuanet reported that "BWF Council Members made the decision" after six countries submitted their proposals for "four major events in 2018 and 2019".
"We received some high-quality bids and we have assessed what is best for badminton on various levels as we seek to elevate our sport globally," BWF president Poul-Erik Høyer said. "Our Major Events showcase the best of badminton, with all of our elite athletes competing. We are excited at the prospect of breaking new ground by going to cities that have not had the honor of hosting our major events before. This is significant for the development of our sport."
Meanwhile, Bangkok was awarded the hosting of next year's BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals, making it the first Thai city to host a BWF tournament. Switzerland's Basel won over Japan's Tokyo in hosting the 2019 BWF World Championships.