A week after announcing a revamped tournament calendar for 2020 after the events were distrupted due to coronavirus pandemic, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has announced that it has extended the qualification period for the Tokyo Olympics till next year.
The BWF failed to complete the last six weeks of its one-year qualifying period for Olympics due to COVID-19 pandemic. With Tokyo Games now rescheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021, the BWF has decided to introduce an extended qualification period for the prestigious event.
"An extended Olympic qualification period will be introduced from Week 1-17 in 2021 and includes the select number of tournaments that were postponed, cancelled or suspended due to COVID-19," an official statement from the world's badminton governing body said.
Meanwhile, the BWF also confirmed that all ranking points which were earned by players at tournaments completed during the original Olympic qualification period from April 29, 2019 to April 28, 2020 will be maintained under the Race to Tokyo ranking list.
The BWF also informed that the rescheduled qualifiers for Tokyo Olympics will likely to take place in the same week next year as originally planned in 2020.
"Such eligible tournaments within this new qualifying period should preferably take place in the same corresponding week from 2020 to 2021," the statement added.
Meanwhile, the BWF also clarified that the tournaments which have been rescheduled to take place at the end of 2020 will not count towards qualification.
The players from China and Hong Kong will be eligible to earn points from the 2021 Badminton Asia Team Championships as they failed to participate in the tournament due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus, the BWF added.
"Players from China and Hong Kong China will be eligible to earn points from the 2021 Badminton Asia Team Championships as representatives from those Member Associations were not able to participate in the 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships in Manila due to COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed on athletes from those nations and territories by the Government of the Philippines," the statement said.
Last week, the BWF revealed revised tournament calender for rest of the 2020 season after the events were distrupted due to coronavirus pandemic that has spread all over the world.
A total of eight tournaments have been rescheduled from their original dates due to the novel virus.The India Open Super 500, which was originally scheduled to take place from March 24 to 29 but was suspended on May 13 due to COVID-19, will now take place from December 8 to 13 in New Delhi.
Earlier, the international body had suspended all tournaments till July due to the coronavirus pandemic.