PETALING JAYA: Former Olympian Woon Khe Wei knows the agonising journey to realise one’s Olympic dream, having gone through the ordeal before.
And that’s why the former national No. 1 doubles shuttler is hoping for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to be fair when they review the qualifying process now that the Olympics had been postponed to next year due to Covid-19 pandemic.
All players are eagerly waiting for BWF’s next move as the world body plan to abort the existing qualification system that was supposed to run for 52 weeks until April 30 before everything was called off.
As many as 21 BWF-sanctioned tournaments currently suspended between March and April are part of Olympic qualifiers, which offer substantial ranking points that could have make a difference towards the conclusion of a thrilling qualifying race.
The 31-year-old Khe Wei is of the opinion that the BWF should let the players pick up where they had left off when the international circuit resumes later on.
“The Olympics takes place once every four years, so everyone is fighting really hard to be part of the world’s biggest sporting event, ” said Khe Wei, whose hopes of competing in her second Olympics was cut short by a knee injury that forced her into early retirement.
“I do understand the players’ frustration. Even I qualified at the eleventh hour.”
Khe Wei and Vivian Hoo left it late to snatch the 13th and final ticket at the ABC meet to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and they did well to reach the quarter-finals.
“All the qualifiers postponed in the last two months should be replaced later this year. BWF should find available slots to reschedule them, ” she said.
“Otherwise, there are still others tournaments lined up in the second half of the year.
“For instance, the Thailand Open in June can be a replacement for German Open - they are of the same tier. Then, the higher-ranked Denmark Open in October can fill in for Malaysian Open.”
Khe Wei, who now runs the Medalist Sport Academy that she founded last year, said it was the onus of the players to prove themselves.
“Those on the provisional qualifying list have to continue producing good results to seal their tickets, while those sitting on the borderline can still make last-ditch attempts. It’s a win-win situation for all.”
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful