BAI ready to host India Open in December or January

The tournament, which was supposed to be held in March, was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Viktor Axelsen in action during India Open final in 2019. Axelsen is the defending champion.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

The Badminton Association of India is ready to host the USD 400,000 India Open in December, 2020, or January, 2021.

Last week, the Badminton World Federation sent a letter to the BAI asking it for a slot to conduct the India Open. In reply, the BAI suggested two slots. “We told them we are ready to conduct the India Open in December or January but it all depends on how this global health crisis comes under control and if we get the government approval,” Ajay K. Singhania, general secretary, BAI, told PTI.

“We received the mail (from BWF) last week, asking us if we can host the event in September but gauging the uncertainties around, we have given December as first option and January as the second alternate. But it depends on a lot of factors. Right now, international travel is also banned, so let’s see,” he said.

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The India Open, a BWF World Tour Super 500 event and an Olympic qualifier, was scheduled to be held in New Delhi from March 24-29. It was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other suspended tournaments which fell within the April 28 Olympic qualification deadline include the Swiss Open Super 300 (March 17-22), Malaysia Open Super 750 (March 31-April 5), the Singapore Open Super 500 (March 7-12) and Badminton Asia Championships (April 21-26).

Other tournaments affected include three BWF World Tour events headlined by the Indonesia Open Super 1000, and a number of Grade 3, Junior and Para badminton competitions.

With the Tokyo Olympics postponed to next year, BWF decided to freeze the world rankings, making the standings on March 17 the basis for entry and seedings when it restarts the international calendar.

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