As it marks its 14th year, the Philippines’ premier badminton tournament, the FDG Cup, will make a bigger impact in the local sports scene as it adds new categories, more players, and new partners on top of attractive prizes and thrilling exhibition matches by some of the world’s best players.
The tournament is named after Robinsons Land Corporation’s President and one of the top benefactors of badminton in the country Frederick D. Go and was organized during his birth month when there was still no major badminton event in the country.
Initially, participants in the tournament consisted of FDG’s friends, employees of Robinsons Land and sister companies as well as their business partners. The goal was to foster camaraderie while helping promote the well-loved sport of badminton.
With the success of its first tournament, participants to the FDG Cup in the succeeding years began to grow and started to include celebrity players as well as world class badminton players as guests.
In 2005, special guests were actor and sports buff Richard Gomez and Indonesia’s Rudy Widjaya. The following year, celebrity players John Estrada, Isabel Granada and Beth Tamayo also joined the action.
It was in 2007 when international players started to make a presence in the prestigious FDG Cup with Malaysian badminton stars Hoon Thien How, Lee Wan Wah and Chan Cong Ming showing off their skills to local fans.
In 2009, the FDG Cup generated even more buzz when the entire 28-man National Badminton Team of Korea, led by Beijing Olympic gold medalists in mixed doubles Lee Young Dae and Lee Hyo-Jung and their coach Kim Joong Soo, arrived to provide even more star power. They wowed the audience as all of them played in different matches.
The following year, Cheng Wen-Shing and Chien Yu Chin of Taiwan, ranked fourth in the world in ladies doubles, graced the FDG Cup 2010 and thrilled the crowd in an exhibition match.
Also giving local fans a taste of their skills were Badminton Federation’s number 1 rank in Men’s Singles from 2008 up to the present Lee Chong Wei, world’s number 4 in men’s doubles Koo Kien Kiat of Malaysia who graced the event in 2011, and two of the world’s best mixed doubles players Lilyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad of Indonesia who played against each other in FDG Cup 2012. In the FDG Cup’s 10th year, legendary singles players Lee Chong Wei and Peter Gade lorded of the court in an exhibition match. China’s Wang Lin and Wang Xin, both former rank #1 in BWF Women’s Singles, graced FDG Cup 2014 and excited the audience with their skills in an exhibition match.
The FDG Cup continued to become more popular and prestigious over the years as the country’s top badminton tournament. Thus in 2011, organizers of the FDG Cup responded positively to the growing clamor for the tournament to be opened up to the public. With the increased number of participants, the tournament was extended to two days.
Starting with 192 players in its first year, the FDG Cup counted over 500 competitors by its 10th year and is expected to attract over 600 players this year aside from guest players in the exhibition matches.
The FDG Cup marks another milestone as enters its second decade with the inclusion of two new categories: the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles. It also mark’s the FDG Cup’s partnership with the Philippine Badminton Association and Smart Communications.
Through this partnership, participants of the FDG Cup’s Open Division (MD, WD, XD, MS and WS) will earn points and become part of the Philippine National Ranking System (PNRS). Points earned will also give players a shot to be part of the Smash Pilipinas badminton team.
"We are humbled that the interest of the sporting public in this tournament continues to grow here and overseas. From its grassroots origin as a venue for friends and business partners to bond and share in the love for badminton, this event has now become a prime venue for Filipino badminton enthusiasts to compete and watch the best in world play their hearts out," said Mr. Frederick D. Go.
FDG Cup 2016 will showcase the skills of 2016 BWF Women's Doubles powerhouse Selena Piek and Eejfe Muskens from the Netherlands.
Thus, true to its tradition, the FDG Cup is “where the best of the world come to play!”