Badminton Asia U17 & U15 Junior Championships in Surabaya
Some 380 participants from 16 members of Badminton Asia are currently in Surabaya - the capital city of the biggest province in East Java - competing in the on-going Badminton Asia Under-17 & Under-15 Junior Championships - at the Sudirman Badminton Stadium.
Pakistan is the odd member out after the team failed to arrive in Surabaya when it ran into visa snags in their own country although they got clearance from the Indonesian authorities.
Putting that aside, this is the first time Surabaya is hosting the Badminton Asia U17 & U15 Junior Championships.
Players from Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam, Brunei, Bangladesh, Hong Kong China. Myanmar and Sri Lanka are in Surabaya for this age group championships.
Organizing chairman Oei Wijanarko Adi Mulya said the huge turnout for the Badminton Asia Under-17 & Under-15 championships is another shot in the arm for the game in Surabaya and all efforts have taken to ensure a "smooth running" of the tournament.
Badminton Asia Senior Events Manager Chooi Weng Sheng describes the Asia Junior championships "as the bridge" between the age-group before they could participate in international meets at a higher."
"This Asian junior tournament is to perform and experience international badminton and gauge their capabilities," said Weng Sheng, taking Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn as an example.
Kunlavut is the reigning Junior world champion who won it for the third time this year in Kazan, Russia. He was won his first in Yogjakarta (Indonesia) in 2017 and retained in Markham (Canada) last year.
Another Thai who is a three-time world junior champion is Ratchanok Intanon, who is also a former (senior) world champion.