The chances of qualifying for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics for Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth have ended after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday confirmed that no further tournaments will be played inside the qualifying window.
“The BWF can confirm no further tournaments will be played inside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying window.”
According to BWF, while the qualification period officially closes on June 15, as per the Revised Tokyo 2020 qualification system, the current Race to Tokyo rankings list will not change. Previously, tournament organisers Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) and BWF agreed to cancel the Singapore Open 2021, which was scheduled for June 1-6 with an eye on the surge in COVID-19 cases. The door of the Tokyo Olympics was shut for Saina Nehwal and Kidamabi Srikanth after the cancellation of the $320,000 Singapore Open but there were still hopes that BWF will change things up.
Both players had to reach the top 16 in the Race to qualify for Olympics in Tokyo. However, Saina Nehwal is ranked 22 in women’s singles and Srikanth sits on rank 20 in men’s singles, with no tournaments left to earn points. Sai Praneeth in the Men’s single category and PV Sindhu in the Women’s single category will represent the country in Tokyo. Sindhu will be eying the Gold medal after she narrowly missed out in Rio. She lost to then World No 1 Carolina Marin in the final.
There are few concerns over Tokyo Olympics going ahead as Japan continues to see a surge in covid cases. In case the event doesn’t go ahead, the Japanese government along with all the companies associated with the organization of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could suffer an enormous loss of $16 billion. According to some reports, a year-long delay in Tokyo Olympics has led to financial losses worth $5.42 billion to $6.32 billion.