In a setback for Indians hoping to qualify for this year’s Tokyo Olympics, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced on Wednesday the cancellation of the last Olympic qualification event, the Singapore Open, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The tournament was set to be held from June 1 to 6 and the qualifying window for the Olympics is currently scheduled to end on June 15.
The BWF said that it will release a “further statement” on the qualification process later.
As things stands, India’s badminton star PV Sindhu (women’s singles), B Sai Praneeth (men’s singles) and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (men’s doubles) have qualified for Tokyo.
However, Saina Nehwal, the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist, and former men’s singles world No.1, Kidambi Srikanth, will miss out on qualification.
“The Singapore Open 2021 is a Super 500 event on the HSBC BWF World Tour and was the last tournament offering Race To Tokyo ranking points inside the Olympic qualifying window. BWF will issue a further statement on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying at a later date,” said the BWF in a statement.
“Tournament organisers Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) and Badminton World Federation (BWF) have jointly agreed to cancel the Singapore Open 2021 scheduled for 1-6 June 2021,” it said.
The BWF said that the increasing number of Covid-19 cases globally led to the cancellation of the tournament.
“All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants. However, rising Covid-19 cases globally led to complex challenges in managing inbound travel. Thus, in the interests of all players, tournament personnel and the local community’s health and safety, the event has been cancelled,” it said.