Singapore Open Cancelled Ending Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth’s Qualifying Hopes for Tokyo Olympics
It would be the first time Saina Nehwal will miss out on an Olympic Games since Beijing 2008.
The Singapore Open, the final Olympic qualifying event on the badminton calendar, scheduled for June 1-6, has been cancelled due to travel complications amid the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers said on Wednesday.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said the tournament would not be rescheduled.
"All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants," the BWF said in a statement.
"However, rising COVID-19 cases globally led to complex challenges in managing inbound travel. Thus, in the interests of all players, tournament personnel and the local community's health and safety, the event has been cancelled."
The Super 500 event was the last tournament where Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth could collect ranking points towards the Race to Tokyo — which would decide who qualifies for the Summer Games which begin on July 23. The cancellation means the duo will miss out on the Olympics — the first time Nehwal will miss out since Beijing 2008.
Even prior to the event’s cancellation, B Sai Praneeth (who has qualified for the Olympics) had pulled out from the tournament citing the 21-day quarantine (14 of which players won’t be allowed to practice) as a deterrent. The women’s doubles pair Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki Reddy also withdrew from the tournament prior to its cancellation. They will also not qualify for the Games.
India’s badminton contingent at the Tokyo Games will consist of PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and the men's doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
This marks the second straight year the Singapore Open has been called off due to the pandemic. The Race to Tokyo period will end on June 15 and the BWF said it would provide further details on Olympic qualification at a later date.
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