Malaysian Open 2021 postponed, Saina, Srikanth’s Tokyo Olympic dreams take big hit

Malaysian Open 2021 postponed, Saina, Srikanth’s Tokyo Olympic dreams take big hit: Tournament organisers Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and Badminton World Federation have jointly agreed to postpone the CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open 2021, scheduled for 25-30 May 2021.

All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants, but the recent surge in cases left no choice but to postpone the tournament.

The CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open 2021 is a Super 750 event on the HSBC BWF World Tour and was originally scheduled as an Olympic qualifying tournament.

BWF can confirm the rescheduled tournament will no longer take place in the Olympic qualifying window. New tournament dates will be confirmed at a later date.

Also Read: Badminton great Prakash Padukone in hospital since last 10 days, recovering from COVID-19

Malaysian Open 2021 postponed, Saina, Srikanth’s Tokyo Olympic dreams take big hit

Earlier, Indian Badminton team had withdrawn from the tournament.

“The recent surge in cases left no choice but to postpone the tournament,” BWF said in its statement. Indian players’ participation was uncertain given travel restrictions imposed on the country by the Malaysian government.

All top Indian singles and doubles players like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy were due to participate.

The Sports Ministry, through the Ministry of External Affairs, approached the Malaysian authorities requesting to permit the Indian team to participate, but owing to the rise in Covid 19 cases in India, the Malaysian government has informed the Indian High Commission in Malaysia that the travel of the team cannot be presently permitted.

Tokyo Olympics: How many qualifiers are left after Malaysian Open 2021?

With the India Open cancelled and India pulling out of the Malaysia Open, only the Singapore Open remains. Being the final tournament on the list of Olympic qualifiers, the Singapore Open Super 500 event will definitely be the most important one. A mad scramble for points is expected at this USD 320,00 event, with shuttlers vying to enter the top-16 in a last-minute effort.

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