BWF to not make adjustments to Tokyo Olympic qualification period despite coronavirus outbreak

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Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], Feb 28 (ANI): The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday confirmed that the federation is not "planning to make any adjustments to the regulations related to the Olympic qualification period" despite coronavirus outbreak in many countries.
"It is unfortunate that some tournaments have been postponed or cancelled and BWF appreciates that these tournaments have been part of players' plans to seek qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and other tournaments where qualification is required (such as the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals)," stated the BWF announcement.
"Any change to the existing Olympic qualification rules will affect different players both positively or negatively, and with the present level of postponement and cancellation, BWF does not believe that making changes is appropriate," it added.
All other tournaments on the BWF calendar within the Olympic qualification period are scheduled to run. BWF and the hosts are closely monitoring the situation in countries where scheduled tournaments are hosted and will inform the badminton community immediately if the status of these tournaments changes.
"The postponement or cancellation of tournaments is not within the control of hosts, BWF or the badminton community, but is caused by ongoing developments as a result of COVID-19 in different areas of the world and decisions will be taken based on information provided by public health authorities," the statement read further.
The health, safety, and wellbeing of players, their entourage, fans, officials and all other concerned parties as the top priority.
Earlier, BWF and the Chinese Badminton Association (CBA) have postponed the Lingshui China Masters 2020 until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. The tournament was scheduled from February 25 to March 1.
The Lingshui China Masters 2020 was one of the qualifying events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. With a likely new date for May or later, ranking points from this event will now no longer contribute to Olympic qualifying as it will be outside the qualification window.
Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to more than 45 other countries including the US, UK, Singapore, Italy, France, Russia, Spain, and India.
The global death toll is over 2,800, and China, where the outbreak originated, is the worst hit, with more than 78,000 cases and over 2,700 fatalities.
The World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak an international health emergency and said the global risk level remains high.
The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will take place on July 24 and the Games will conclude on August 9. (ANI)