Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton qualification pathways for the Tokyo Games have been full of twists and turns. As many Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore have instituted strict lockdowns to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) had issued an announcement on Wednesday that the last Olympic qualifier – Singapore Open which was scheduled to be held from June 1 to June 6, had been canceled.
Below was the official statement from BWF:
“Tournament organizers Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) and Badminton World Federation (BWF) have jointly agreed to cancel the Singapore Open 2021 scheduled for 1 – 6 June 2021.
All attempts were made by the organizers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants. However, rising COVID-19 cases globally led to complex challenges in managing inbound travel. Thus, in the interests of all players, tournament personnel, and the local community’s health and safety, the event has been canceled.
BWF can confirm the tournament will not be rescheduled.
The Singapore Open 2021 is a Super 500 event on the HSBC BWF World Tour and was the last tournament offering Race To Tokyo ranking points inside the Olympic qualifying window.
BWF will issue a further statement on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying at a later date.”
The announcement saw no more qualifying tournaments before the Tokyo Olympics, and the May 11, 2021 Race to Tokyo rankings could potentially be used as the final list to allocate spots for the Tokyo Games.
Lee Zii Jia, the reigning All England champion who is currently ranked No. 9 in the Race to Tokyo rankings will lead the charge for Malaysia alongside seven other Malaysian shuttlers including women’s singles player Soniia Cheah, men’s doubles pair, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, women’s doubles pair, Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean, and mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying.