As expected, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has postponed the biennial Thomas and Uber Cup Badminton tournament to next year. The week-long tourney was slated to be held in Aarhus, Denmark from October 3 to 11.
The world governing badminton body has been forced to take the difficult decision after the withdrawal of six top teams out of the participating 16 teams amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The postponement was always on the cards after top seeded Indonesia, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Australia and Russia had pulled out in the last one week.
The twice-postponed Thomas and Uber Cup would have marked the resumption of the international badminton tournament calendar which was halted since the All England Championship in March.
“The BWF, in full consultation and agreement with local host Badminton Denmark, has made the tough decision to postpone the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2020,” the BWF said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The decision comes following the withdrawal of a number of participating teams from the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals and the European leg of the adjusted BWF World Tour. These are exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in and while a return to international badminton remains a priority for the BWF, the health and safety of the entire badminton community is of utmost importance,” said BWF.
The sport’s governing body said it was looking at possible alternative dates to reschedule the team championships but not before 2021. It is now expected to take place after the Tokyo Olympics.
Talented teenagers India No. 1 Aakarashi Kashyap (Chhattisgarh) and India No. 2 Malvika Bansod (Nagpur), who were part of the Uber Cup team, will need to take this disappointment in their strides and look to the future.
The Denmark Open in Odense (Super 750 tournament), part of the BWF World Tour, would go ahead as planned from October 13 to 18 while the October 20 to 25 Denmark Masters (Super 750 tournament), also slated for Odense, had been cancelled, the BWF added in its press release.
In the Denmark Open, top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal, Lakshya Sen, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy were slated to take part. However, it remains to be seen whether they can participate now after the postponement of Thomas and Uber Cup.