Hyderabad:A huge security force descended on Saturday on the venue of the World Badminton Championships in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, where a force of 1,000 officials will aim to ensure the safety of participants.
Police Commissioner Prabhakar Reddy said a complex security operation had been set up to protect the players, with officials monitoring them from the moment they arrived in the city.
"We have deputed 1,000 policemen for a five-layer security cover for the players and the tournament, even though there's no specific security threat to the event," Reddy said ahead of the Aug. 10-16 worlds.
Security concerns over sports events in South Asia have existed since a terror attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan. Seven players, an assistant coach and a match official were among those injured in the attack. Six policemen and a driver were killed in the ambush by heavily armed gunmen.
In November, terror attacks in Mumbai left 164 people dead and forced the cancellation in India of a Twenty20 cricket tournament involving provincial teams from five countries.
Badminton World Federation, the sport's governing body, commissioned an independent security appraisal of the event before Hyderabad got the go-ahead.
"Nearly 450 participants from 43 countries will participate in the championship. We're determined to throw a foolproof security blanket around (them)," Reddy said.
Badminton World Federation's security consultant, John Ahlert, said there was "no need for concern."
"No player has raised any security doubt about the tournament and we've been working with the police authorities to ensure a safe tournament," Ahlert said at the Balayogi Stadium, while players from several nations went through their training sessions.
"We've had a look at the overall security aspect. All nations have different security needs," Ahlert said. "We've given our input to the organizers and police officials."