ECONOMICS: ASIAN CONTAGION STRIKES BADMINTON
** This NEW SHUTTLENWS REPORT is presented by badminton world champions
YANG YANG (1987 and
1989) and ZHAO JIAN HUA (1991) and by
YANG YANG BADMINTON PRODUCTS **
January 4, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The severe downturn in the economies of
the several Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Korea has
finally hit the sport of badminton hard. The poor economic conditions in Korea
has forced the Korean Badminton Association to cancel this year's edition of
the Korean Open.
The Open was scheduled to be held in Seoul from January 6 to 11 and had an
announced purse of US 250,000 dollars mostly from Samsung, the Korean chaebol
or conglomerate. However, with most of the chaebols in financial distress and
with the Korean won having lost most of its value, the tournament organizers
were faced with a choice of holding a scaled-down tourney with less prize
money or not staging the Open at all. With the newly elected Korean government
also calling for austerity and spending restraints and in fact asking for
citizens to help out with donations of jewelry in order to improve the won,
the Korean association has chosen to cancel the Open.
The cancellation of the tournament is not going to be the only impact on
badminton of the Asian contagion, the term used by economic journalists to
describe the economic woes facing Korea and several other Asian countries.
Other tournaments may be cancelled or may be scaled down, although national
pride in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia may prevent the outright
cancellation or scaling down of the Indonesian and Malaysian Opens.
Badminton associations in Korea and Malaysia are also under budgetary
restraints with primary sponsors and sports ministries either holding the line
or reducing their subsidies. Additionally, foreign travel is being reduced or
restricted by some of the governments and the open tournaments that do get
held will have smaller contingents from the affected nations.
And for the regular player in these countries, badminton has become a more
expensive sport to play with rackets, equipment and shuttles now costing up to
two or three times more than before.
COPYRIGHT 1998 © NEW SHUTTLENWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.