Badminton: Singapore Open called off owing to fresh precautionary measures for coronavirus pandemic

Japanese star Kento Momota in the 2019 Singapore Badminton Open final, where he beat Indonesian Anthony Ginting. He is recovering from a car crash and was not due to defend his title at the now cancelled tournament. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The April 7-12 Singapore Badminton Open has become the latest major international sporting event to be cancelled in the Republic.

This in view of the additional precautionary measures to prevent further importation and spread of coronavirus cases by the Singapore Government and the World Health Organisation's declaration of Covid-19 as a global pandemic.

Nine of the world's top 10 men's singles shuttlers, including defending Olympic champion Chen Long, as well as all of the top 10 female players, had been confirmed for the US$408,000 (S$577,000) event earlier on.

In a statement, tournament organisers said on Friday (March 13) the decision to pull the plug on this year's competition is made in consultation with Badminton World Federation.

Organising chairman Robert Lim added: "Following the rapid increase of Covid-19 cases worldwide, and with the health and safety of players, spectators and event personnel our highest priority, we have made the decision to cancel the Singapore Badminton Open.

"It is always hard to cancel an event and we appreciate all the hard work put in by everyone involved in the tournament. While we are disappointed that we are unable to stage this tournament for spectators, we believe this is the best decision for everyone involved."

Fans who have purchased tickets for the Singapore Badminton Open 2020 will receive a full refund. Details of the refund will be announced on the Singapore Badminton Open's official website.

The latest advisory released by the Ministry of Health Singapore had advised that "all ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events, with 250 participants or more, are to be deferred or cancelled".

Other major international sporting events that was scheduled to take place in Singapore but have since been canned include the HSBC Women's World Championship golf tournament last month and July's International Champions Cup.

The Singapore Rugby Sevens was also postponed from April 11-12 to Oct 10-11.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.