PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have a new date lined up for the postponed Celcom Axiata Malaysian Open. The national body want to hold the US$750,000 (RM3.27mil) event at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil from Nov 24-29.The tournament’s 63rd edition, initially slated for March 31-April 5, was one of the dozens of events suspended since mid-March due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour and other sanctioned tournaments are all on hold until July, but it remains unknown to when play can restart.
Despite the uncertainties, BAM went ahead and proposed the new dates for the meet to BWF.
They had to do it early as other tournament organisers, too, would be scrambling for available slots in the ever-narrowing window of opportunity for rescheduling.
The other notable tournaments that were deferred include the Swiss Open, Indian Open, Singapore Open, Asian Badminton Championships, Thailand Open and Indonesian Open.
Except for Thailand and Indonesia, the others are tournaments that offer rankings points for the Tokyo Olympics qualification.
“We have proposed (to BWF) for the Malaysian Open to be held some time end of November and we are waiting for them to get back to us, ” said BAM secretary Datuk Kenny Goh.
“The sooner it is, the better because everything is so unpredictable at the moment.
“We are also not sure about the changes that BWF are going to make to the Olympic qualification criteria.
“We are also waiting to find out about government’s directive on mass gathering after the movement control order (MCO) as it would have an impact on the tournament organisation.
“If we have the new dates secured, then we will have one less uncertainty to worry about.”
If granted, the Malaysian Open will most likely clash with another World Tour leg, the Korean Masters in the same week.
Kenny believes there will be many weeks where two World Tour tournaments are held simultaneously.
“It will be an extra busy calendar all the way to December with two World Tour tournaments being played in the same week, ” said Kenny.
“Under normal circumstances, BWF will not want two top-tier events to be held the same time but I think they will have to make an exception for this year.”
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