BWF announces Olympics qualification tournaments, India Open to take place in May

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On Monday, the Badminton World Federation(BWF) has announced the schedule of the upcoming Olympics qualification tournaments starting from March.

Indian shuttlers to have an edge as last qualification tournament set to take place on home turf

 

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the normalcy in the world of sports and Badminton was no exception. All the Olympic qualification events were suspended from March 16 following the All England Championships and the rankings were frozen by BWF.

The India Open, Super 500 event – was set to be held in New Delhi last year from March 24-29. Now after the rescheduling, the event is set to take place from May 11-16 in 2021. This would be the last qualification tournament as announced by the governing body for Badminton.

A total of 17 tournaments to be held, carrying ranking points towards Olympics qualification.

The other major tournaments will be Malaysia Open Super 750 (March 31-Apr 04) and Singapore Open Super 500 (Apr 13-18).

World champion PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are on the Race to Tokyo rankings.

Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, and women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will also be eyeing to secure the spots in the high-profile International event.

ALSO READ: Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal set to return to action in Bangkok following pandemic hiatus

The Indian shuttlers will resume their campaign at Thailand Open from Jan 12 except Srikanth who returned to action in the Denmark Open in October.

The world rankings will be reopened after the completion of World Tour Finals. BWF said, “Qualification will be determined from the Race to Tokyo Rankings published on May 18 2021. This will also be used for seedings the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021,”

BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said the aim is “to establish cluster tournaments where possible” which is similar to Asian Leg in January in Thailand. In this manner, a certain number of tournaments can be held in the upcoming year.

BWF Council outlines the COVID-19 protocols

The BWF Council has approved a support package which will offer financial aid and cost relieving initiatives to hosts.

Lund said, “The support will help hosts cover the costs of implementing BWF COVID-19 protocols which includes testing, arrangements around hotel safety, cleaning, provisions of face masks to participants, and sanitising equipment.”

The Olympic qualification starts with the Swiss Open from March 2-7 and will be succeeded by German Open from March 9-14.

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