After approval by International Olympics Commitee (IOC) and Paralympic, Badminton World Federation (BWF) has outline new qualification rules for the Tokyo 2020. Although the new system will still maintain the ranking points earned during the original qualification window.
However, it has extended the Olympic qualification period for the first 17 weeks of 2021, culminating around the period between April 26 and May 2.
Some of those tournaments that were postponed, cancelled or suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be hosted during this new Olympic window.
Any rescheduled tournaments now sitting in late 2020 will not count towards Olympic qualification, with the Games now scheduled to start on July 23 in 2021.
Another ruling is that players from both China and Hong Kong will be eligible to earn Olympic qualification points at the 2021 Badminton Asia Team Championships, after they were not able to compete at the 2020 edition due to the initial outbreak of COVID-19.
A similar format to the Olympic system will exist for Para-badminton players who will have their qualification window run from January 1, 2021 to March 28.
“It has been a thorough process with the close and valuable consultation of the Athletes’ Commission to consider how best to make adjustments to the Olympic and Paralympic qualification system,” said BWF secretary general Thomas Lund.
“We feel this is a fair solution for all athletes and it will be our first and main priority to conduct these tournaments as part of badminton and Para-badminton’s adjusted return in the wake of COVID-19.
Although we aim to resume international tournaments towards the end of 2020, we have chosen to resume the Olympic and Paralympic qualification process only in 2021 to ensure that travel restrictions and other related impacts of COVID-19 are limited.”
Badminton is scheduled to make its Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
“This change will allow players to complete their planned run for Paralympic qualification,” Lund added.
“It will also allow players to be able to live up to eligibility criteria as stated in the regulations, which is a minimum of three tournaments.”
The BWF said they will also look into the mandatory player regulations, including new procedures for hosting tournaments, to keep players as safe as possible.