OtherSports

Malaysia Open postponed due to Covid-19 surge, big blow to Saina, Srikanth’s Olympic qualification hopes

Badminton: Malaysia Open tournament has been postponed due to Covid-19 surge in the host country. The BWF confirmed that the Super 750 tournament will not be rescheduled within the Olympic qualification window.

UPDATED: May 7, 2021 18:18 IST

Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth’s hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics took a big hit on Friday after the Malaysia Open Super 750 tournament was postponed due to the Covid-19 surge in the host country. The Malaysia Open was one of the last two Olympic qualifying events on the tour following the postponement of the India Open.

The Super 750 Malaysia Open was scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur from May 25 to 30. The Badminton World Federation also confirmed the rescheduled Malaysia Open will not be played in the Olympics qualification window.

“All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants, but the recent surge in cases left no choice but to postpone the tournament,” Badminton World Federation said in a statement.

“BWF can confirm the rescheduled tournament will no longer take place in the Olympic qualifying window. New tournament dates will be confirmed at a later date.”

Following the postponement of the India Open (May 11-16), Saina and Srikanth’s qualification for the Tokyo Games hinged on the Kuala Lumpur event followed by the Singapore Open (June 1-6).

It is highly unlikely that the Indian duo will be able to travel to Singapore as the country has suspended all flights from Covid-19 ravaged India.

The Badminton Association of India had earlier said that as per the laid-out guidelines, for any Indian to enter Singapore, they have to either be in quarantine in a foreign country other than India for 14 days to be allowed to enter Singapore.

READ  India to host badminton World Championships in 2026, 2023 Sudirman Cup to be hosted by China

“Alternatively all players have to maintain a 21 days quarantine in Singapore.”

Malaysia too has banned all flights from India and BAI had been exploring alternative routes to reach there via Doha or Sri Lanka but with the suspension of the Kuala Lumpur event, efforts would now be directed towards Singapore.

Indian shuttlers who have already made the cut for the Olympics include PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and the men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy. Besides the quartet, Srikanth, Saina and the women’s doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa were supposed to participate in the two Olympic qualifiers.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: