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Saina and Srikanth Might have to Give Tokyo Olympics a Miss With the Singapore Open Being Called Off

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Tuesday, 25th May 2021

The Singapore Open that was scheduled from June 1 to 6 was been called off and with that the comes an end of any hope that former World No 1 players, Saina Nehwal and K. Srikanth nurtured of playing at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Wednesday made the crucial announcements which have all but slammed the doors to the Olympics completely on the faces of the two top Indian players.  

They said, “Tournament organisers Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) have jointly agreed to cancel the Singapore Open 2021 scheduled for June 1 to 6, 2021,” and added, “All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants. 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 players who are now left as qualifiers to the Tokyo Games are, P. V. Sindhu, B. Sai Praneeth and the duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.

The recent surge in the number of Covid-19 cases had already led organisers to cancel the India Open and Malaysia Open. The only option left to the shuttlers aspiring to qualify for the Tokyo games, was the Singapore Open, which was the last qualification event before the June 15 deadline.

According to the BWF, the Singapore Open will not be rescheduled which entails that there are no more qualification tournaments before the Tokyo Games. They are yet to make any further announcements in this regard, but have left off with a shred of hope saying, “BWF will issue a further statement on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying at a later date.”

However, there is hardly time to organise a new tournament before the Olympics are set to commence of June 23, making chances further slim for the duo to qualify.

Srikanth said, “It's obviously disappointing, what can we do given the situation? We can only wait for the BWF decision. Now that five to six tournaments have been cancelled, we have to see what they will do.”

The News Talkie Bureau


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