Saina Nehwal urges BWF to extend the Olympic qualification

HYDERABAD: former world number 1 Saina Nehwal , who faces an arduous task of qualifying for the Olympic Games, urged World Badminton Federation (BWF) to extend the Olympic qualification since the outbreak of the Corona virus is forcing the cancellation of several qualifying events.

Next week's Open-German BWF Super-300 tournament has been canceled and the prestigious All England Championship, a Super-1000 event that will be held between March 10 and 15, is also likely to be canceled.

The Swiss Open BWF Super-300 tournament is also expected to be postponed as the Swiss government canceled the Moto program scheduled for last week. The Swiss government issued a notification saying that events in which 1,000 or more people are likely to meet will be canceled.

Even in the United Kingdom there are 20 confirmed cases of Co-Vid-19 and one death has been reported.

With the possibility of several tournaments being canceled, ferries such as Saina, struggling to reach the top 16 of the rankings, are losing sleep over the qualification.

The qualification period can be extended if tournaments are canceled due to #coronavirus ... It will be unfair for most players who are really close to qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. Saina wrote on his Twitter account, tagging BWF and International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Saina is lying 22nd in the race to Tokyo rankings and needs at least semifinal finishes in two of the next six tournaments to qualify for the quadrennial Games.

The situation is even worse for Kidambi Srikanth , which is in 21st place, since it has to defend several classification points in the next tournaments.

Saina's husband Parupalli Kashyap , who is number 24 on the ranking list, also urged BWF to extend the qualification period.

Many players were injured in the last year when the qualification period began and now, if they are fit and expect them to do well in the next events, what happens to their qualification possibilities ... extend the qualification and make sure they add the events later or make it a fair grade, Kashyap wrote on Twitter.

Badminton at the Olympic Games will take place between July 25 and August 3, while the qualification ends with the Continental Championship (Asia and Europe) on April 26.

However, BWF made it clear that it has no plans to make any adjustments to the regulations related to the qualification period of the Tokyo Games.