Badminton Asia Championships, the last event for the continental players to earn Tokyo Olympic qualifying points, have been shifted to Manila, Philippines and will be held on the scheduled dates from April 21-26, the Badminton World Federation announced on Wednesday.
The continental event was originally slated to be held in Wuhan, China, – the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak but since then there is speculation over whether the event will be cancelled or postponed like last month’s China Masters Super 100 event in Hainan, BWF announced the change.
Manila had recently hosted the Badminton Asia Team championship but the Philippines government had asked all players coming from China and Hong Kong to undergo a 14-day quarantine period before entering the country. The teams had then withdrawn from the competition.
BWF insisted that Badminton Asia confederation officials were working closely with the Philippine Badminton Association (PBA) to secure visas for all athletes for the individual championships.
The decision to shift the tournament would come as a big relief to many Indian shuttlers including Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and P Kashyap as they are looking for valuable ranking points to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
Last week Saina and Kashyap even tweeted about how the BWF should consider extending the qualification period after German Open was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and there is still uncertainty over the Swiss Open and events in Malaysia and Singapore.