World Tour Finals among doomed big three events


PETALING JAYA: Three major World Tour events, all in China, are as good as gone from the season’s schedule, although the Badminton World Federation (BWF) are still keeping mum about their status.

The Chinese government’s directive to cancel all international sporting events for the rest of the year, to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, means all top-level tennis and athletics events have been wiped off China’s sporting calendar.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) elite circuits had recently called off four and eight of their legs respectively, including the notable US$8.3mil (RM35.3mil) Shanghai Masters and US$14mil (RM59.5mil) WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

The Diamond League Shanghai, one of the 10 legs of World Athletics’ flagship outdoor track and field annual series, has also been cancelled.

These developments spell doom for BWF’s China Open in Changzhou from Sept 15-20, Fuzhou China Open (Nov 3-8) and the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou (Dec 16-20).

The three meets make up a major part of the schedule and boast a combined prize money of US$3.35mil (RM14.25mil).

The BWF, however, seemed to be hoping against hope to save the three lucrative stops.

“BWF are in close contact with our relevant partners, including the Chinese Badminton Association (CBA), to get more clarity on the situation and how this will affect the 2020 BWF tournament calendar.

“There will be no further comment at this point in time,” said a press release on July 11.

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