New Delhi, February 3
Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship, scheduled to be held in Wuhan in China next week, was on Wednesday cancelled due to travel restrictions and strict quarantine protocols imposed by many countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Badminton Asia (BA), the continental governing body of the sport, said the timing of the event, which is not a part of the qualifications for the Tokyo Olympics, was also a reason for the cancellation.
“In this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Asian governments are still imposing strict travel restrictions and quarantine requirements to those entering the respective countries,” the BA said in a statement.
“Players who participated in the Asian leg (1 and 2) and the World Tour Finals held from the 12th to 31st January in Bangkok, Thailand, will have to conduct a 2-week mandatory quarantine after returning from these events.
“Unfortunately, this means that the players are unable to participate in events in close proximity to these dates, as the hosting Member Associations are still imposing strict quarantine requirements.”
The mixed team championship was “intended to be the Continental Qualification for the Sudirman Cup Finals 2021”. However, the BA said the game’s governing body (BWF) had “concluded that if any Continental Championships, qualification tournaments do not take place in 2021, the Continental Confederation will then be represented by team(s) up to the originally allocated quota, via the world rankings”.
The BA also said that “BWF has upgraded the Badminton Asia Championships for individual events to a World Tour Super 1000 level, where it now becomes the highest-ranking Continental Championships from 2022 onwards”.
The 2020 international calendar concluded with the three tournaments in the Asia leg which was conducted in Bangkok in successive weeks.
The 2021 season will start with the Swiss Open Super 300 (March 2 to 7), which will be the first tournament in the Tokyo Olympic qualifying period. PTI