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.
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.