With the previously scheduled Olympic qualification cut-off date of April 30 now null and void, the badminton players must wait for a revised date.
One week after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced an immediate suspension of all BWF World Tour and other BWF-sanctioned tournaments from March 16 to April 12, the world body decided to further extend the period until the end of April.
The extended period will see as many as five tournaments getting cancelled, which includes the three Continental Confederation championships as well. The events are Croatian International, Peru International, the European Championships, the Badminton Asia Championships and the XXIV Pan Am Individual Championships.
“All five tournaments were slated to be played within the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying period but will no longer contribute to Olympic qualifying as they will now fall outside the qualification window,” the BWF statement read.
“BWF will make a further announcement on any implications related to the Olympic qualification period at a later date,” it added.
With the previously scheduled Olympic qualification cut-off date of April 30 now evidently null and void, the badminton players will have to wait for a revised date.
Furthermore, the BWF Thomas And Uber Cup Finals 2020 that was scheduled to take place from May 16-24 has been further pushed to August 15-23.
While the previous suspension period until April 12 saw the Indian badminton players miss out on big-ticket tournaments like BWF India Open (Super 500), Malaysia Open (Super 750) and the Singapore Open (Super 500), they will now be unable to compete in the Badminton Asia Championships as well.
While the previous three events had a whopping tally of 29,400 points on offer, the Badminton Asia Championships scheduled to be held in the Philippines offered 9,200 points.
India’s badminton contingent has two shuttlers in the direct qualification spots now – B Sai Praneeth and PV Sindhu.
B Sai Praneeth sits 13th on the Race to Tokyo - BWF Olympic Qualification rankings table with 51,527 points in the men’s singles category as per the rankings released on March 17. The closest to Sai Praneeth is former world no. 1 Kidambi Srikanth with 40,469 points, albeit out of direct qualification ranking spot.
PV Sindhu sits higher in the seventh position on the women singles table with 70,754 points after finishing in the last eight of the All England Open. An early exit for Saina Nehwal, on the other hand, in England sees her sitting with 41,847 and out of the direct qualification spot.
The men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has fallen out of the direct qualification spot after they decided to not compete in the All England Open. They sit in the ninth spot with 57,500 points.