Badminton: 2021 World Championships delayed by three months to avoid Tokyo Olympics clash

The tournament will be held from Nov 29 to Dec 5 in the Spanish city of Huelva. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - The 2021 badminton World Championships will move from its August slot and begin in late November to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next year, the sport's governing body said on Friday (May 1).

The tournament will be held from Nov 29 to Dec 5 in the Spanish city of Huelva, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement.

The Tokyo Games, originally scheduled to start in July this year, have been postponed to July 23-Aug 8, 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and will be followed by the Paralympic Games which will run from Aug 24 to Sept 5.

"The move allows both the Olympic badminton competition and the World Championships to be conducted with equal fairness for everyone," BWF president Poul-Erik Hoyer said.

The decision to reschedule this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games prompted the move, said BWF, hoping that the World Championships will "shine brightly" in the "condensed sports calendar".

"The new schedule will allow players to have a clear focus for 2021 in which they will have dual objectives of both the Olympic Games and World Championships," it added.

BWF is yet to finalise the remainder of the 2020 tournament calendar, highlighting the extent of the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The qualifying process for next year's Olympics, Paralympics and World Championships will be announced later, it added.

This year's Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Denmark was moved further back to Oct 3-11 on Wednesday, after the Danish government extended its ban on large gatherings in the country until the end of August. They were originally scheduled for this month and postponed to August.

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