Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has been working to finishing up the tournament calendar for 2021, and it’s expected to make an official announcement about the schedule for the new season in the next few weeks.
Until now, BWF has yet to announce the structure and format for the 2021 season, except for the two HSBC BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournaments (YONEX Thailand Open – January 12 to 17, 2021; TOYOTA Thailand Open – January 19 to 24, 2021; and 2020 BWF World Tour Finals – January 27 to 31, 2021) planned for Bangkok, Thailand.
On May 27, 2020, BWF actually issued a revised Tokyo Olympic Games qualification guidelines after the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the last six weeks of its one-year qualifying period, which ended on April 28, 2020. But with the Tokyo Games postponed due to the global health crisis, the governing body decided to extend the Olympic qualification period to next year.
“An extended Olympic qualification period will be introduced from Week 1-17 in 2021 and includes the select number of tournaments that were postponed, canceled, or suspended due to Covid-19,” BWF said in that May 27, 2020 statement.
Some media outlets have recently reported that the 2021 German Open, Swiss Open, Malaysian Open, Indian Open, Singapore Open, and the Asian Badminton Championships, which would count towards the Olympic qualification are set to be held from March to May 2021 period. Furthermore, some news channels also reported that the Tokyo Olympics badminton qualifiers would resume with the 2021 Singapore.
Before things get out of control, BWF quickly jumped out to deny those deeply confused reports about the Tokyo Olympic with an official statement below:
“BWF would like to confirm no decisions regarding the Tournament Calendar for 2021 have been made yet.”
“This is in response to recent media reports that suggest BWF has already confirmed the schedule for the return of Olympic qualifying tournaments in 2021.”
“BWF has been working with Host Members to devise the best tournament cluster solutions for the new year.”
“This is to ensure the resumption of consistent tournaments for the benefit of all athletes as well as the completion of the Olympic Qualifying period for the Tokyo Olympics.”
“BWF will share details of the 2021 Tournament Calendar once it is finalized in the coming weeks.”