BWF expected to come up with new Olympic qualifier

BAM secretary-general Datuk Kenny Goh believes the Badminton World Federation (BWF) will come up with a new qualifying mechanism for the postponed Tokyo Olympics after freezing the world rankings.

After the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be postponed to next year, BWF announced they will freeze the world rankings until tournaments are safe to be held later this year.

Following the Tokyo Games postponement, the world body must now review the Olympic qualifying period, which is supposed to end on April 26.

“The move (freezing of world rankings) is in line with the postponement of Tokyo 2020. But BWF need to confirm the dates as to when they will be unfreezing the world rankings, so that member nations can adjust their periodisation plan,” said Kenny.

“Covid-19 has caused the uncertainty, and it is hard to make any tournament plans. BWF may also be in a quandary due to the tense situation.

“There is a possibility some of the tournaments may have to be cancelled as they cannot be just slotted into an already packed international calendar in the later part of the year.

“The good news is that the players still have the opportunity to try and qualify for the Olympics, provided that a sufficient qualifying period is given.”

The decision to freeze the qualifying period was welcomed by professional pair Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin as they now have the chance of making a fresh start in their mission to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

“We don’t know when we can start playing in tournaments. So, freezing the world rankings is fair for all the players. We can start afresh when we are able to compete again,” said Ee Yi.

“With our ranking remaining the same (World No 15), we can be able to compete in BWF World Tour events and also try to qualify for the Olympics.

“But we are not putting too much emphasis on Olympic qualification as our sincere hope is that the coronavirus outbreak is contained.”

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