Kuala Lumpur: Even though the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Race to Tokyo rankings have set to resume at the Swiss Open that will be held in Basel, Switzerland, from March 2, 2021, to March 7, 2021, several Olympic qualifiers have to be postponed due to concerns related to COVID-19.
BWF announced on Friday that the qualification window for Tokyo Olympics has been extended to June 15 due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this, in Dec 2020, BWF said the qualification period will be extended until Mid-May of 2021 with the Indian Open being the last tournament in the qualification period. Qualification was set to be determined from the Race to Tokyo Rankings published on May 18, 2021. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of the German Open which was scheduled to be held in Mulheim from March 9, 2021, to March 14, 2021. Furthermore, the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia has been aggravated by heightened travel and quarantine restrictions and the subsequent extreme logistical complications have forced BWF to reschedule World Tour events in these regions.
The Malaysia Open which was originally scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur from March 31 to April 4, has now been moved to May 25 to May 30, while the new date for Malaysia Masters has yet to be determined.
“Badminton Association of Malaysia and Singapore Badminton Association made the respective decisions in consultation and collaboration with the BWF.
Both cited ongoing COVID-19 complications and wished for the tournaments to be delayed.
In securing new dates for the CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open and Singapore Open, BWF confirms the Indonesia Masters 2021 and Indonesia Open 2021 have been postponed also.
Replacement dates for those tournaments will be announced in due course.
The Olympic Qualifying period for the Race to Tokyo will now close on 15 June 2021, with the last tournament counting for qualification being the Singapore Open 2021.
BWF is working with the IOC to update the Tokyo 2020 qualification system whereby the final updated regulation will be shared once ready following formal approval by IOC.” said BWF on its official website.
Meanwhile, the Singapore Open has been rescheduled to June 1 – June 6.