India Grand Prix to commence on April 1

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Hyderabad, Mar 19 (UNI) World woman no 1 Xie Xing Sang and her Chinese compatriot, world no 3, Zhu Lin, will be among the 230 players from 27 countries vying for the title in the US Dollar 1,20,000 lakh Yonex Sunrise India Grand Prix Gold 2008, beginning here from April one.

Draws for the six-day tournment were held at Malaysia today.

China led the badminton power houses followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, England and host India in the world badminton grand prix event, which will also be the last qualification event for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.

Former All England Champion Pullela Gopichand felt that this event would provide opportunity to the Indian players like Saina Nehwal, along with others, to analyse their strength in the run up to the 2009 World Badminton Championship and 2010 Commonwealth Games, both slated to be held at New delhi.

''Indian juniors who had a winning streak in Austrian Open, Croatia Open, Portugual Open and Dutch Open during the last couple of weeks will be able to elevate their games to the next level by particiating in the Indian Grand Prix 2008,'' he said.

Badminton Associaton India President V K Verma told reporters here that the Indian players - Anup, Sridhar and Saina Nehwal - playing in front of their home crowd could make best use of the tournament to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

UNI DB/AP RC VP0106

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