Thaindian News March 20th, 2008 Hyderabad, A total of 230 shuttlers from 27 countries will vie for the top honours at Yonex Sunrise India Grand Prix Gold 2008, the world badminton Grand Prix event, beginning here April 1. Ten of the top 15 ranked players in the world will be in action at $120,000 tournament, the first-ever world badminton Grand Prix to be held in India. Yonex Ltd, Japan and Sunrise Pvt Ltd, Singapore are the title and main sponsors of this prestigious tournament organized by Badminton Association of India (BAI) in association with Radha Realty Corporation and NEB Sports. Being the last Grand Prix before Olympics, it has become a qualifying event and the players are looking for an opportunity to boost their chances of confirming their place or making their way to Beijing in August 2008. The tournament has attracted the large number of participants from a number of countries. Top names in the world of badminton including women’s singles world number one Xie Xing Fang and world number three Zhu Lin will be seen in action. Malaysia is sending the biggest contingent with as many as 35 players. Indonesia, China, Korea and England are also sending big contingents. “It is a historic day for the Indian badminton,” said V.K. Verma, president, BAI at a news conference, which coincided with an event in Malaysia, and where draws for the tournament took place. “Playing in front of home audience, this tournament would serve as the best opportunity for Indian players like Anup Sridhar and Saina Nehwal to qualify for Beijing Games,” he said. Former All England badminton champion Pullela Gopichand said it was a mix fortune for Indian players in the draw. Chetan Anand will be facing Andreas Adityawarman of Indonesia in the first round while in the women’s singles world number 29 Saina Nehwal will battle it out against Yu Hirayama of Japan, ranked 23. The men’s singles feature 64 players in the main draw. In the women’s singles there are 28 players in the main draw while four will qualify to the main event.