Coronavirus Outbreak: Badminton freezes world rankings to 17 March amid tournament suspensions
Badminton circuit is suspended to the end of April, but the BWF expects more tournaments to be put off in May and June.
Badminton's global body — the BWF (Badminton World Federation) — announced their decision to freeze the rankings for both male and female shuttlers on Tuesday. Both World Rankings and World Junior Rankings will have their rankings frozen due to the calendar being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
No tournaments have been played since the All England Open in mid-March and have been suspended until at least the end of April. Freezing of rankings will be backdated to Week 12 (17 March) — the week following the tournament in Birmingham.
The rankings on 17 March will be the basis for entry and seeding into the next international tournaments, whenever they are.
BWF has said it has yet to decide how the rankings will be unfrozen.
"It is difficult to outline the exact procedure until we have an exact overview of what the international calendar will look like once play resumes and suspended tournaments have been rescheduled," BWF said in a statement.
With the Tokyo Olympics delayed until July 2021, the BWF says it is reviewing the Olympic qualification process. It notes the consequences of freezing the world rankings does not apply to Olympic qualifying.
Earlier, Indian shuttlers had urged BWF to freeze the rankings. "Our points are getting deducted even though the tournaments were postponed by BWF due to the coronavirus . Swiss Open got postponed but my points got deducted. So like this, if they keep slashing the points for all the qualifiers which were postponed, I don't know what will happen," B Sai Praneeth had told PTI.
"BWF should at least freeze the rankings, later they can decide about the qualification depending on the the dates of Olympics but as of now there is no clarity," he added.
Besides Praneeth, PV Sindhu and the doubles pairing of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are currently assured of an Olympic berth from India.
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