Pullela Gopichand awaits BWF’s cut-off date for 2020 Olympics qualification

Badminton players will miss out on big-ticket events like BWF India Open, Malaysia Open and Singapore Open during the period.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

With the Badminton World Federation (BWF) deciding to suspend all events until April 12, after the World Health Organization’s (WHO) deemed coronavirus a pandemic, Indian badminton coach Pullela Gopichand now awaits the new cut-off date for Olympic qualification.

The one-month suspension will see shuttlers missing out on numerous Olympic qualification tournaments, namely BWF India Open (Super 500), Malaysia Open (Super 750) and the Singapore Open (Super 500) amongst others.

“We need to know the cut-off date and the number of tournaments the players, especially those aspiring from India, can play to make the cut for the Games," Pullela Gopichand told Sportstar.

Indian badminton players qualified for Olympics

The Indian badminton contingent has shuttlers qualifying in three events so far – women’s singles, men’s singles and the men’s doubles.

While PV Sindhu has seemingly sealed her place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the women’s singles event by currently sitting seventh in the Race to Tokyo - BWF Olympic Qualification rankings table, B Sai Praneeth sits 11th.

Though Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty didn’t feature in the All England Open, the men’s doubles duo is still holding eighth place on the qualification table.

PV Sindhu was ousted by Nozomi Okuhara in All England Open

Gopichand disappointed

India’s last campaign before the BWF tournaments was suspended was the All England Open, which saw PV Sindhu getting eliminated in the quarter-finals by Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.

Apart from PV Sindhu, no Indian badminton player could reach the third round. While Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth exited in the first round, Lakshya Sen and the women's pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy got ousted in the second round.

When asked about India’s performance in Birmingham, the former All-England champion said that he was “disappointed” with the outing in an event that had 12,000 points on offer.