The Opens are back – and back-to-back

  • Badminton
  • Saturday, 23 May 2020

PETALING JAYA: Local fans starved of badminton action can afford to smile. The Malaysian Open is back.

The tournament, which was postponed in April, will now be held from Nov 24-29 at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

In its revised calendar released yesterday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) also announced new dates for other Open tournaments in Indonesia, India and Thailand that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Indonesia Open will be held in Jakarta from Nov 17-22, Thai Open from Dec 1-6 and Indian Open from Dec 8-13, making it a tight back-to-back schedule for players.

The world body’s season finale, the World Tour Finals has been pushed one week forward to Dec 16-20 in Guangzhou, China.

BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said: “It has been a difficult task to plan for badminton’s return. It is a condensed calendar but we are confident this provides the framework to allow us to start again when it is safe and logistically possible.

“At this point in time, it is difficult to predict when international movement and entry restrictions will be lifted but we will not resume competition unless it is absolutely clear that is safe to do so.

“We have also tried to ensure the continued livelihood of our badminton players, including supporting all our member associations, by making considered preparations for badminton’s return at the soonest possible chance.”

The BWF are still working on the exact model for the unfreezing of the world rankings in a staggered manner to avoid any extreme drop-off of points that would affect the ranking structure.

There may also be changes to the rules that make it mandatory for all top players to play in every top-tier Opens, especially with a tight tournament schedule.

“There may also be changes to Olympics and Paralympics qualifying. We will make further announcements once all circumstances have been carefully considered,” added Lund.

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