Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Wednesday announced the updated qualifying regulations for the Olympic, which includes an extended qualification period.
The Olympic qualification period will be introduced from Week 1-17 in 2021 and includes the select number of tournaments that were postponed, cancelled or suspended due to COVID-19. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has also been pushed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The BWF, in a statement, said that the priority was to ensure a fair solution to the disrupted qualification system in order to qualify players for the postponed Games.
Also, the BWF said that both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have approved the amendments.
Also, all ranking points earned at tournaments completed during the original Olympic qualification period will be maintained under the Race to Tokyo ranking list. These eligible tournaments within the new qualifying period must be completed by Week 17 in 2021.
"Tournaments rescheduled for the end of 2020 outlined in the revamped BWF Tournament Calendar 2020 released last week will not count towards qualification. Only the 2021 editions of each tournament," reads the statement.
For the Paralympics tournament, the federation said only one tournament was cancelled and it has been included in the adjusted qualification system.
"Only one tournament within the original Paralympic qualification period was cancelled due to COVID-19 - the Spanish Para-Badminton International 2020. It has now been included in the adjusted qualification system within a period from January 1 to March 28 2021," the statement adds.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said: "It has been a thorough process with the close and valuable consultation of the Athletes' Commission to consider how best to make adjustments to the Olympic and Paralympic qualification system."
"We feel this is a fair solution for all athletes and it will be our first and main priority to conduct these tournaments as part of badminton and Para badminton's adjusted return in the wake of COVID-19," he added.