Corona Virus Stings BWF European Circuit

Badminton Desk

Editor Image Courtesy: Badminton Desk 27 Feb, 2020

Ncovid19 – the worldwide pandemic that is currently wreaking havoc across the globe could well play the spoilsport with the Olympic aspirations of several badminton stars including – Kidambi Srikanth and SainaNehwal.

The German Open, expected to commence in a week’s time, is the first of the high-profile European Circuit tournaments of the BWF Calendar to be postponed. In a statement released by the governing body – BWF, said, “The Badminton World Federation (BWF) can confirm the YONEX German Open 2020 to be staged in Mülheim an der Ruhr next week will no longer take place on its scheduled dates of 3-8 March.”

The announcement came in the wake of the advisory from the city of Mülheim.

“No concrete plans or decisions have been made regarding the immediate future of the tournament other than that it won’t occur next week.

“BWF and GBA accept the decision citing the welfare of players, their entourage, fans and officials at the tournament as the main priority,” the statement added.

In addition to the official confirmation of the postponement of the German Open, BWF also announced that the Polish Open is also being postponed.

Corona Virus, that has caused worldwide disruption following an outbreak in Wuhan, China has already led to the cancellation and postponement of several East Asian tournaments. The recent escalation in cases in Italy, continental Europe and the UK means that, now some of the top rung tournaments could well see postponement, or at worse cancellation.

The All England in mid-March is the highest profile of Badminton tournament and, it is now under serious with UK grappling with new cases now identified and several schools being shut down to contain the infection.

This couldn’t possibly come at a worse time as the Olympic Qualifications hitting the home stretch. Kidambi Srikanth &SainaNehwal need to pick up as many qualification points as possible to secure their Olympic berths before the window closes in May 2020. Cancellation or postponement of high-ranking tournaments could well be a crushing blow to their qualification chances.

Srikanth is currently ranked #21, with Saina #22 and both need to finish in the top-16 for an automatic qualification.

Several tournaments, including the Badminton Asia Championships, have been severely hit by the Ncovid19, and leading up to the Olympics in Tokyo – several others could be disrupted. While, this might be a crushing blow to the aspirations of some of the players and their Olympic dreams.

 

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