The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has announced that the Swiss city of Basel will host the World Championships for para-badminton and able-bodied athletes in 2019, marking the first time that both events have been held concurrently in the same location.
Both events will take place at the 9,000-seat St. Jakobshalle venue. The BWF assigned its 2019 World Championships to Basel in March and said the decision to now award the Para-Badminton World Championships to Swiss Badminton is in line with the body’s goal of developing para-badminton in tandem with badminton.
BWF president Poul-Erik Høyer said: “This is a momentous occasion for BWF and Swiss Badminton – and indeed for the development of our sport and our athletes; bringing able-bodied athletes and athletes with impairments together to showcase their talents under the same roof with their World Championships being held at the same time.”
Swiss Badminton first considered hosting a joint World Championships in March after successfully bidding for the able-bodied event. The organisation then submitted a follow-up bid for the para-badminton event.
Høyer added that the decision to host both events simultaneously ties in with the ‘One Sport – One Team’ motto that the BWF promotes. “The spectacle of two World Championships, being jointly staged, will propel this philosophy to a unique level,” he said.
“It will be something special and amazing to see and we must congratulate Swiss Badminton on their innovative and ambitious thinking. They have convinced us – the BWF Council – that they can deliver these tournaments, to world-class standards together, and we look forward to this historic occasion.
“It will surely raise the bar for hosting premier sporting events.”
The BWF assumed responsibility for para-badminton in June 2011. The sport is due to make its debut at the summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
The BWF had initially decided to delay awarding the Para-Badminton World Championships hosting rights last week when making two further announcements. Katowice in Poland was awarded the World Senior Championships in 2019, while the Czech capital of Prague was confirmed as the host city for the 2019 World Junior Championships.