New Delhi: It appears that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is gearing up for the postponement of Tokyo Olympics. The BWF has dropped a hint of this on Saturday when it postponed Thomas and Uber Cups, scheduled to be held in May end, until August when the Olympics would have just finished.
The premier global men's and and women's team championship, to be held from May 16-24 in Denmark, have been postponed by three months. The BWF took the decision after "consultation and consensus" with tournament hosts Badminton Denmark. The tournament is now scheduled for August 15-23 in Aarhus, Denmark.
Short of stating that the its expects the COVID-19 pandemic to cause the postponement of Olympics, BWF said in its statement: "... it has come to the conclusion that due to extraordinary circumstances related to the severe escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak globally, the tournament could not take place on its originally scheduled dates."
BWF had a day earlier suspended five more tournaments, including three continental championships crucial for Tokyo Olympics qualification but stripped of that significance now, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic in the host cities.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said: "All relevant health, safety and logistical risks have been considered by BWF, Badminton Denmark, tournament organisers, Sport Event Denmark, and the local Aarhus government in reaching this decision.
"The health, safety and wellbeing of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community is the top priority. Heightened travel and quarantine restrictions and the subsequent extreme logistical complications this has caused has also contributed to the postponement," he said on Friday.