BAI writes to BWF after postponement of Malaysia Open, seeks clarity on Tokyo Olympics
New Delhi, May 7 (UNI) Following the postponement of the upcoming Malaysia Open, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has reached out to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and asked for the clarity on the qualification scenario for its shuttlers and future course of action.
The Super 750 event, scheduled from May 25-30 and considered as one of badminton’s last two Tokyo Olympic qualifying events, was postponed on Friday due to a recent COVID-19 surge in the host country.
The decision came as a huge setback for Indian stars like Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth.
With four of its players, PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, having already sealed places for Tokyo, BAI is expecting few more players to qualify including Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth.
‘It’s really unfortunate that the crucial qualifier had to be postponed in this way but that is the time we live in now. Though four of our players have already qualified and there are few more including Saina and Srikanth who can still make it. I have reached out to BWF Secretary Thomas Lund asking for clarity on the future course of action,’ BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania said.
Following the postponement of the India Open (May 11-16) and now Malaysia Open, the qualification hopes of remaining Indian players like Saina and Srikanth now depends on the final qualifying event–Singapore Open (June 1-6). Singapore has suspended flights from India due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases. However, BAI is in touch with the Singapore Badminton Association and is trying to find a best possible way regarding the mandatory 21-day quarantine rule.
‘We will do whatever best possible can be done to find a better way out so that the shuttlers get the chance to secure the Olympic berths if there’s scope and opportunity,’ said Singhania.