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ARKIB : 04/06/2001

Korn Dabbaransi new IBF President

SEVILLE (Spain) June 3 - Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC) president Korn Dabbaransi of Thailand was today elected president of the International Badminton Federation (IBF).

Korn, who is also the Thailand Badminton Association president and a former deputy prime minister, defeated Indonesia's Drs. Justian Suhandinata 180-29, with one spoilt vote, at the IBF annual general meeting here.

A total of 117 member countries attended the presidency election for a total of 210 votes.

The early favourite, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, backed by the IBF Council members, pulled out from the race at the 11th hour to focus on administering his country.

"I'm agreed that badminton is at the crossroad. We need to work hard to make the sport more visible in the eyes of the world," said Korn, whose nomination was proposed by the Badminton Association of India and seconded by the Sri Lankan BA.

"My aim is not to ensure that there are only large followers at the Asian region but to make sure that badminton is widely followed in the other continents," he said.

Asked about Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's last minute withdrawal from the election, he said the ruler made the decision after serious consideration.

The Sultan felt he would not be able to give full commitment as he would be involved in state affairs, said Korn.

"His Majesty also decided to withdraw because he will be involved in religious duties during the election time and he felt that it was not proper for him to be nominated when he will not even be present during the election," said Korn.

"His Majesty is very devoted to badminton and he promised to give his full support to the federation," he added.

Meanwhile, Justian who was beaten by a large margin, was not disappointed with the defeat.

"I accept this defeat. I'll continue to give my full support for the federation in their efforts to make badminton a successful sports in the world," said the IBF vice-president, whose term will end in 2002.

MEANWHILE, badminton followers will have to wait for at least six more weeks to know who get to host next year's Thomas-Uber Cup Finals.

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) were to have named the hosts here today but have decided to postpone the selection.

IBF chief executive Neil Cameron said it was important that the job went to the "best hosts" after what happened at the Sudirman Cup which ended here yesterday - the fans stayed away and the facilities were not up to the mark.

"If possible, I want it to be decided tomorrow but there are a lot of factors to be taken seriously before deciding the hosts for the finals.

"We must be very careful because anything can happen if we made a fast decision. We also wanted to make sure that the hosts can gain something from the hosting job," he told reporters just hours before the IBF annual general meeting here.

Cameron said as far as he was concerned, Kuala Lumpur, who hosted the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals last year at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, were the best hosts for the biennial prestigious event for both men's and women's teams.

However, he said more discussions would be held with the tournaments' commercial rights holders, Gold Bridge Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company, to ensure that they find the best venue.

Other cities in the race for the hosts job are Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta, New Delhi and Tokyo, said Cameron.

"Jakarta won't be easy for us as well as the teams competing because of the uncertain political situation in the country while the high living cost in Japan may see Tokyo out of the running as well as Singapore.

"Hong Kong may easily attract the fans, but there are no suitable places in India to hold it.

"For that reason, we think that Kuala Lumpur is still the best choice but we noticed that the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are not keen because the high expectations on your national teams to perform if they host it," he added.

Two weeks ago, BAM president Datuk Nadzmi Salleh had said Kuala Lumpur were no longer keen on hosting the 2002 Thomas-Uber Cup Finals but were prepared to do so if asked by the IBF Council.

Nadzmi said that while Malaysia were great in playing hosts they might not be able to prepare a salid team to bring back the Thomas Cup crown last won in 1992 in Kuala Lumpur.

If IBF decided the venue in five to six weeks from now, it would probably be during the Malaysian Open in Shah Alam in mid-July.

Cameron said the IBF were disappointed with Seville because of poor organisation of the Sudirman Cup and the ongoing World Championships as well as a lack of crowd watching the top players in action.

"Two thirds of majority backed Seville for this job two years ago ahead of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, but they could not give us what they promised during their biddings," he said.

The Sudirman Cup, the world mixed team championships, will be a separate tournament beginning in 2003 in Eindhoven while the World Championships will be back to Birmingham in England.

It will be a second time in 10 years for Birmingham, having hosted the World Championships in 1993.

Kongsi Konten di :

Waktu Solat Kuala Lumpur
 
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