Toni carries Suffolk's badminton hopes

FOLLOWING on from the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham, this weekend sees the turn of Suffolk to host the premier badminton tournament for the Eastern region with this season's Harrod UK-sponsored Suffolk Open Tournament at Rushmere Sports Centre, Ipswich.

FOLLOWING on from the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham, this weekend sees the turn of Suffolk to host the premier badminton tournament for the Eastern region with this season's Harrod UK-sponsored Suffolk Open Tournament at Rushmere Sports Centre, Ipswich.

This is the showcase for the sport, attracting a large number of highly-ranked players from the national English ranking list to Ipswich.

Players have entered from all over the country, from as far afield as Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and Leinster in Northern Ireland and expectations are high for another superb tournament this year.

There will be a great deal of local interest being provided by Suffolk's finest, which will, hopefully, build on the local success of last season.


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Suffolk will have a strong contingent of junior players, including the latest addition to the top 100 of the national senior rankings for men's singles, Daniel Hooper, but the best chance of success will probably rest with Toni Sturgeon, who continues to maintain ladies rankings in the top 30.

The singles events, which will take place on Friday evening, have once again attracted large entries and promises to provide exciting badminton.

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The top seeds both have very high rankings, with Neil White (Notts - ranked 7) and Katherine Cooper (Norfolk - ranked 13) heading the list of entrants.

However, the overall standard of entries is extremely high, with over half of the top 50 players participating.

The competition will commence at 6pm on Friday with the men's singles, with the ladies singles starting at 8pm. All of the doubles events, including all the finals, will take place on Saturday, with play starting at 10am.

This is an ideal opportunity for spectators interested in the sport of badminton to witness some of the best players in the country.

There is no charge to watch the play which should help swell the crowd at Rushmere Sports Centre on Friday night and Saturday.

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