Published: March 31, 2020 7:00:09 pm
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Tuesday decided to freeze the world rankings, saying standings as on March 17 will be the basis for entry and seedings when it restarts the international calendar that has been thrown haywire owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There was a clamour for freezing the world rankings with Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, B Sai Praneeth, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy leading the way in expressing their concerns.
“The Badminton World Federation (BWF) can announce it will freeze World Rankings and World Junior Rankings until further notice. The freezing of rankings will be backdated to Week 12, which is the week following the last international tournament that was played the YONEX All England Open 2020,” BWF said in a release.
“The ranking lists issued on 17 March 2020 will serve as a basis for entry and seeding into the next international tournaments although it is difficult to say at this stage when this may be.”
Shuttlers in the singles competition have to be inside top-16 of world rankings to qualify for the Olympics. The cut-off for doubles is also top-16.
The BWF had suspended all tournaments post the All England Championships until April 12 due to the pandemic.
The world body said it will take time to decide on the process of unfreezing the world rankings as it will depend on how the international calendar looks once things improve.
“BWF will provide more information in due course regarding the process as to how the rankings will eventually be ‘unfrozen’ following the commencement of the international circuit,” BWF said.
“However, it is difficult to outline the exact procedure until we have an exact overview of what the international calendar will look like once play resumes and suspended tournaments have been rescheduled.”
The governing body said it will start reviewing the Olympic qualification system but a decision will take several weeks.
“Following yesterday’s announcement to reschedule the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 23 July to 8 August 2021, BWF will now also initiate a review process to confirm any impacts on the Olympic qualification system,” BWF said.
BWF looking for 2021 Worlds alternatives
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is in talks with hosts Spain to reschedule the 2021 World Championships after the Tokyo Olympics were pushed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Huelva, a city in south-west Spain, is scheduled to host the 2021 Badminton World Championships in August but with the Tokyo Games now rescheduled to July 23 to August 8, BWF is looking for alternatives.
“BWF is aware of the need to reschedule the World Championships 2021 normally staged in August with suitable alternatives being discussed with hosts Spain,” the governing body said in a statement.
World Championships is a annual event with the exception of the Olympic year. PV Sindhu had won the World Championships title at Basel, Switzerland in 2019.
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