Badminton world tour aims for September restart

HONG KONG (AFP) – Badminton’s world tour hopes to resume in September, officials said yesterday, announcing a revised schedule with several tournaments moved or cancelled because of the months-long coronavirus shutdown.

The circuit will restart in Taiwan on September 1, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said, with 16 tournaments building up to the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, southern China from December 16.

Major tournaments in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India are among those that have been rescheduled, while the World Tour Finals were pushed back by a week.

But the Singapore Open and Badminton Asia Championships are on a list of 10 cancelled events, while another five have been suspended.

BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund cautioned that there were no guarantees the new-look tour would go ahead as planned.

“It is a condensed calendar but we are confident this provides the framework to allow us to start again when it is safe and logistically possible,” Lund said in a statement.

“At this point in time, it is difficult to predict when international movement and entry restrictions will be lifted by individual countries and territories, but we will not resume competition unless it is absolutely clear that is safe to do so.”

The BWF suspended all tournaments in mid-March, in line with other sports as the pandemic took hold.

The Thomas and Uber Cup world team championships remain on their revised schedule of October 3-11 in Denmark.