Coronavirus pandemic

BWF season set to return on Aug 11 in Hyderabad

Indonesia's Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo during a match in Birmingham, on March 15, 2020.
Indonesia's Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo during a match in Birmingham, on March 15, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • The Badminton World Federation (BWF) yesterday announced a tentative revised calendar for the year.

Tournaments in New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India have all been rescheduled, with the season, on hold since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, set to resume in August.

BWF Tour Super 100 events in Hyderabad (Aug 11-16) and Lingshui, China (Aug 25-30) will be kicking off the campaign.

The season-ending BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou has been pushed back by a week and will now conclude on Dec 20, while the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark were last month postponed, for the second time, to Oct 3-11.

"It is a condensed calendar but we are confident that this provides the framework to allow us to start again when it is safe and logistically possible," BWF secretary-general Thomas Lund said in a statement.

"At this point in time, it's difficult to predict when international movement and entry restrictions will be lifted by individual countries and territories.

"But we will not resume competition unless it is absolutely clear that it is safe to do so.

"The health, safety and well-being of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community remains our No. 1 priority."

The German Open, Swiss Open, European Championships and Australian Open - all tournaments which were scheduled between March and June - remain suspended, with no fixed dates for their rescheduling.

Ten tournaments were cancelled, including the April 7-12 Singapore Open and the April 21-26 Badminton Asia Championships.

Shuttlers are required to participate in a stipulated number of tournaments every year, according to BWF regulations, but the Covid-19 crisis has made that impossible to fulfil.

As such, the governing body said it was working on unfreezing the world rankings in a staggered way to avoid an extreme drop off of points that would affect the ranking structure.

The BWF said it is also looking at changes to Olympic and Paralympic qualifying.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2020, with the headline 'BWF season set to return on Aug 11 in Hyderabad'. Subscribe