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19 Feb, 2021
The qualification window for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics has been moved to June 15, 2021, the World Badminton Federation announced via a statement earlier this morning. With the ongoing corona virus pandemic showing no signs of abating and tournaments being forced to either be cancelled or postponed, to meet local health & safety guidelines, the world governing body was hardly left with any choice but to make the changes to the qualification period.
Singapore Open to be played in June will now be the revised final event for the qualification, with the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open 2021 and Perodua Malaysia Masters also postponed from their original dates. While Malaysia Open will take place from May 25th to 30th, the dates for the Malaysia Masters will be announced in due course.
The changes of course will have a cascading effect overall with several other tournaments also moved or postponed. The Indonesian Open & Indonesian Masters scheduled in June 2021 will now be accommodated at a different time, with the dates to be announced later.
Regulations to the qualifications criteria are being worked out with the International Olympic Council and the updated regulations will be shared once the formal approval has been received from the IOC, the BWF statement added.
Meanwhile, there are some high-profile retreats from the European circuit with Chou Chen Tien and Tai Tzu Ying now pulling out of the premier badminton tournament of the world tour. There are widespread concerns for the safety of players and officials in Europe with a second wave of the corona virus pandemic wreaking havoc. The German Open has already been cancelled and the Swiss tournament moved to new dates. Brexit isn’t making things easy with a new set of rules governing international travel to and from Britain.