Kuala Lumpur: Asian badminton players who were trying to earn enough ranking points to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics were dealt another blow when Badminton Asia had decided to postpone the Asia Badminton Championships (ABC). ABC was originally scheduled to take place from April 27 to May 2 in China but has been postponed until after the Tokyo Olympics in July.
Therefore, this tournament would no longer be considered as one of the Olympic qualifiers. Last month, another Olympic qualifier, the German Open was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier in February, Badminton Asia also canceled the Asia Mixed Team Championships due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
After the postponement of ABC, only 3 tournaments left for Asian players who are still fighting to collect the Race to Tokyo ranking points, including the Indian Open (Super 500, May 11-16), Malaysia Open (Super 750, May 25-30) and Singapore Open (Super 500, June 1-6).
As India has become the country with the second-highest number of Covid cases in the world, it’s also questionable whether the Indian Open will be held as scheduled.
Secretary-general of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Kenny Goh confirmed that BAM has received the notification from Badminton Asia about the issue.
“The postponement of the Asian Championships was not surprising, because they failed to find a place to replace China as the host country,”
Suzhou was supposed to be the host city, but China’s borders have been closed to almost all foreigners.