Indian badminton players Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap believe the World Badminton Federation (BWF) should extend the qualification time due to the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics qualifying tournament due to coronavirus. Four Olympic qualifying events have been canceled so far due to concerns over the deadly coronavirus, including the China Masters (25 February to 1 March), Vietnam International Challenge (24 to 29 March), German Open (3 to 8 March) and the Polish Open. (26 to 29 March).
Saina tagged the BWF and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), tweeting that the qualification time could be extended if the tournaments are being canceled due to the coronavirus. She said it would be unfair for players who are close to qualifying for the Olympics 2020. London Olympics bronze medalist Saina is currently ranked 22nd on the ‘Race to Tokyo’ list and will have to achieve some good results to make it to Tokyo.
Saina‘s husband and 2014 Commonwealth champion Kashyap and former world number one player Kidambi Srikanth are ranked 24th and 21st respectively. These players now have a chance to pick points through the prestigious All England tournament scheduled to be held from 11 to 15 March. The winner of this tournament will receive 12000 ranking points. All England tournament will be followed by the Swiss Open, India Open (Super 500), Malaysia Open (Super 750) and Singapore Open (Super 500). The qualification time is said to end on 28 April.
Kashyap, recovering from a back injury during the Spain Masters, tweeted that there were seven contests in between Spain Masters to Singapore Open. He added that Asian Championship was also to be held ahead of the Olympics. He said that now the German Open has been canceled and the Swiss Open is also suspected. There are also concerns about Singapore and Malaysia Open. It would be unfair for players who are close to qualification right now.
Kashyap expressed his concerns over qualification for the mega sports event saying that the German Open has been canceled and the Swiss Open is also in jeopardy. Kashyap added that there are also doubts over organizing the Singapore and Malaysia Open which he feels would be unfair for players who are close to qualification right now.