Team Singapore

Singapore Badminton Open cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic

This year's Singapore Badminton Open, which was scheduled from June 1-6, has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Badminton World Federation (BWF) and organiser Singapore Badminton Association said in a joint statement on Wednesday (May 12): "All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants.

"However, the rising Covid-19 cases globally would lead to complex challenges in managing inbound travel. Thus, in the interest of our players and the local community's health and safety, the event has to be cancelled."

Following the earlier postponement of the May 11-16 India Open and May 25-30 Malaysia Open, both of which will not be rescheduled within the Olympic qualification window, the Singapore Open was supposed to be the last tournament for shuttlers to gain qualification points for the delayed Tokyo 2020.

The BWF said it will issue a separate statement on the qualification system for the Tokyo Games, which will be held from July 23-Aug 8.

Despite the Singapore Open's cancellation, the Republic's top shuttlers Loh Kean Yew, 23, and Yeo Jia Min, 22, are almost certainly assured of their places at the Olympics.

Loh is ranked No. 36 in the BWF Race to Tokyo standings, while Yeo is placed 25th. As each country can send a maximum of only two singles representatives, some higher-ranked shuttlers will be ruled out, handing Loh (18th) and Yeo (17th) their tickets to Tokyo.

Said Loh: "While it's sad that Singapore Badminton Open has to be cancelled, Covid-19 is something that we cannot really control at this point. This is in the best interest for everyone, especially since Singapore has been doing well to control the virus.

"I was hoping to get some court time ahead of Olympics and play with the other players, especially since all the top players were supposed to come, and see where I currently stand against them, but I think safety stands as priority.

"It’s frustrating but I think we can only continue to work with our coaches to fine-tune and improve, and be prepared for what’s coming next. Whatever it is”