Monday, February 23, 2009

Tickets selling fast for 99th Yonex All England

WITH just over a week to go to the start of the 99th Yonex All England Championships, BADMINTON England are bracing themselves for a blockbuster tournament at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

Tickets for the finals on Sunday, March 8 are already sold out and the semi-finals on Saturday, March 7 are also virtually all gone.

The Championships start with the qualifying rounds in all five events, commencing at 11am on Tuesday March 3.

For the second year running, the qualifying rounds are open to the public, offering the chance to see many of England's top players like two-time English National men's singles champion Rajiv Ouseph and new National women's singles champion Jill Pittard in action.

They will be competing along with many international stars who have not clinched direct entry into the 32-strong main draw in this third BWF Super Series event of the year.

Pittard is one of the local stars in action – and is one of the few players in the world's top 50 to hold down a full-time job. The 31-year-old is an engineer at Land Rover in Coventry.

This year's line-up is one of the best ever with Olympic and world champions competing at the National Indoor Arena. China's world and Olympic champion Lin Dan is the star attraction with big names like Peter Gade, Lee Chong Wei and Taufik Hidayat out to stop him winning a fourth men's singles title.

Denmark's world No 1 Tine Rasmussen is back to defend her women's singles title.

Nearly 300 players from 34 nations will be taking part and tournament director Darren Parks, running his seventh consecutive All England at the NIA, said today: "It's incredible. Finals day was just about sold out even before we announced the entry list and there are now very few tickets left for the Saturday.

"That's how popular the Yonex All England Championships have become. Ticket sales are going so well that I urge fans to book now to get the seats they want.

"The fact that the Championships follow on closely from the English Nationals in Manchester and the European Team Championship in Liverpool in the last five weeks has really got the spectators excited about the All England."

To book tickets check out or telephone 0844 444 9994. Tickets are also available from the NIA box office during the event

Tickets are on offer in a range of prices with discounts for BADMINTON England members, senior citizens and students.