Local shuttlers compete with the world's best players in this week's US$250,000 Hong Kong Badminton Open being held at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai. The event has attracted top names, thanks to funds from the Re-launch Hong Kong campaign. 'It is history for Hong Kong - our first six-star event,' said Tong Wai-lun, vice-president of the Hong Kong Badminton Association, last week. 'A lot of teams have changed their schedules for this. 'We have the best players in the world coming - there's only the Hong Kong Open and China Open that are designated as six-star competitions during the Olympic qualifying period.' The lineup will include China's Xia Xuanze, Zhang Ning, Chen Hong and Gong Ruina. South Korean mixed doubles pair Kim Dong-moon and Ra Kyung-min will be bidding to win a remarkable ninth consecutive tournament. Hong Kong's star player is world number four Wang Chen, who became the first-ever SAR Asian champion last week in Indonesia. Hong Kong had its best-ever Asian Championships in Jakarta and returned home with Chen's gold, plus four bronze medals in men's singles (2), doubles and mixed doubles. Chen may face her nemesis this year, Denmark's Camilla Martin, in the third round. Martin has beaten Chen three times in the past two months. Matches today, tomorrow and Thursday begin at 9am, 2pm and 7pm, respectively. Quarter-finals and semi-finals are on Friday and Saturday, and the finals are on Sunday.