Coronavirus: Kashyap hopeful BWF will freeze rankings after suspending tours

Parupalli Kashyap expects BWF to come up with a 'please-all' solution for the badminton Olympic qualification and freeze the world rankings immediately.

Parupalli Kashyap and the badminton world remains in the dark about the process for Olympic qualification.   -  r. ragu

Commonwealth Games gold medallist P. Kashyap, urged the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to freeze the world rankings following the suspension of all major tournaments till April 12 due to coronavirus outbreak.

“This should be the first thing they should do. It is imperative for the BWF to do this as it will not only ensure justice to those who have done exceptionally well and also those who are hoping to make it to the Tokyo Olympics this July,” Kashyap, who returned from the All-England championship, told Sporstar on Monday.

According to the existing norms, April 30, 2020 is the cut-off date to determine the spots for Olympics from each country. In singles, shuttlers ranked in the Top-16 will qualify for Tokyo 2020.

"Well, the BWF has to be pragmatic in its approach and respect the players sentiments. Any decision by it should be in the interest of the players especially when deciding on the new norms for qualification for the Olympics," he said.

"It would be great if the BWF keeps in mind the minimum number of tournaments the players need to compete to make the cut," Kashyap said.

"See, right now we are not training till March 31 because the Academies are closed because of the Corona Virus threat. So, when the BWF eventually takes a call on the fresh guidelines, they have to take into consideration lot of factors before finding a way out to be of help to the players," he explained.

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On his injury which saw him pull out of All England championship, Kashyap revealed that the back problem which he suffered from during 2018, propped again, posing serious discomfort.

"Honestly, because of the coronavirus threat and the subsequent cancellation of these big events - including the Swiss, India, Malaysia and the Singapore Opens - I will be the worst sufferer when it comes to the world rankings," he said.

"I am sincerely hoping that the BWF will come up with a please-all solution soon giving enough time to train, prepare and be in the right frame of mind for the Olympics," said Kashyap.

The London Olympics quarterfinalist also wondered how the All England championship went on.

"We went there when there was so much of concern. But, the atmosphere there was totally different. The stadium was packed and look at how the eventual champion Viktor Axelsen mingled with the crowds, giving high-fives after winning the title," he said.

"I mean, if something goes wrong in the wake of the virus, who will be responsible?"

"Interestingly, there were only two handwash sanitizers - at the entry and somewhere inside the training hall of All England venue. There was absolutely nothing which suggested seriousness of the threat from Coronavirus," Kashyap recalled.

"Even we didn't feel any huge difference either when reached Heathrow Airport or when we returned except for screening of any temperatures (at 8.30 am and being the only international flight to arrive at that time). May be because it was too early, there were not many measures in place. But, it seems to be totally different now," he said.

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