The Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2016 officially kicked off with an opening ceremony held in the Kunshan Sports Centre on May 13, 2016, marking the most influential world-class sports games independently hosted in Kunshan, the third Chinese city that has hosted this tournament, following Guangzhou and Wuhan.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Du Xiaogang, Mayor of Kunshan. After the speeches made by government officials, the TOTAL BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2016 was jointly inaugurated by Cai Zhenhua, Deputy Director of China’s State General Administration of Sports, and Zhang Jinghua, Deputy Governor of Jiangsu Provincial Government, followed by oaths of representatives of players and referees.
The opening ceremony was unveiled in the soft and pleasing melody of Jiang Er Shui, a piece of Kunqu performed by Zhang Jun, which indulged the audience in the traditional beauty of Kunqu opera. The audience was also offered a glimpse of Kunshan’s unique culture through Jiangnan-style dancing and acrobatic performance.
As remarked by Xu Huimin, Secretary of the CPC Kunshan Municipal Committee, Kunshan as the host of the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2016 is making efforts to ensure that guests from all over the world will enjoy a fantastic and unforgettable time filled with amazing badminton games and memories of a passionate, vigorous and glamorous city. He also encouraged all the players and teams to bring out their best for the championships, making new contributions to the exchange and development of international badminton games.
“The TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals, along with the Sudirman Cup, represent the pinnacle of team spirit in a largely individual sport such as badminton. In many ways, one rediscovers the sport in these team championships,” noted Poul-Erik Høyer, President of the Badminton World Federation (BWF). In his speech, Mr. Hoyer also expressed appreciation and thanks to the host and the Chinese Badminton Association for their efforts in making such a wonderful tournament happen.