The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the badminton circuit. After a host of tournaments were canceled last year, giving players little room to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, cancelations have started again.
In the latest development, the Korea Open and Macau Open badminton tournaments were canceled by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the region. A statement from the BWF confirmed the cancelation, which read:
"The Korea Masters 2021 which was previously listed as postponed is also now canceled. The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and complications left local organizers no choice but to cancel the tournaments.
"The BWF is still committed to delivering the remainder of the 2021 calendar as planned and we look to provide players with a safe and structured platform to earn important world ranking points and prize money in the coming months."
The Super 500 Korea Open, which was scheduled to be held from August 31 to September 5, was supposed to be the first event on the BWF World Tour since the All England Championships in March.
The Macau Open, a Super 300 event, was scheduled to be held from November 2-7.
A final decision on Malaysia Masters Super 500 event and Malaysia Open Super 750, which were postponed earlier, will come at a later date, the BWF statement added.
Earlier, China Open (September 21 to September 26), Japan Open (September 28 to October 3), Fuzhou China Open (November 9 to November 14) and Hong Kong Open (November 16 to November 21) have been canceled and taken out of the calendar due to the coronavirus crisis.
In the junior circuit, the BWF World Junior Championship has been postponed and no new date has been announced. The event was supposed to be hosted by China from October 4 to 17 and the federation has confirmed that no tournaments can take place in China this year.
Badminton tournament upgraded
With many tournaments losing out, the badminton apex body has decided to upgrade a few. The SaarLorLux Open is one such event which has now been rechristened as the Hylo Open 2021. As part of the World Tour Super 500 series, it will be held in Saarbrücken, Germany from November 2-7.
The BWF said the Hylo Open 2021 will round out the European leg of the Badminton World Tour following stops in Denmark and France.
For India, the Syed Modi International, a Super 300 event, will be held from October 12-17 in Lucknow.
The badminton season will culminate with the BWF World Championship to be held at Huelva from December 12-19.