Indian shuttlers have urged with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to freeze the rankings as it continues to slash points despite suspending all World Tour Series events after the conclusion of All England Championships amid coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Mumbai Local Train Latest Updates: Maharashtra Govt May Restrict Commoners From Boarding Local Trains, Say Reports
After it had suspended events, shuttlers across the world were demanding BWF to extend the qualifying period for the Tokyo Olympics which now have been postponed toll 2021. Also Read - Aamrapali Dubey Tests Positive For COVID-19, Nirahua, Monalisa, And Others Wish Her Speedy Recovery
With the latest development, shuttlers of the likes of B Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy among others are asking for an immediate freeze on ranking points. Also Read - Lockdown in Delhi Only If Health System Collapses, Says CM Kejriwal; Terms 4th COVID Wave 'Extremely Dangerous' | Key Points
“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,” Praneeth 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.”
Praneeth was to make his Olympic debut in July but with the Games pushed back by a year, uncertainty prevails should the qualification process restart.
“If Olympics would have happened in July, I would have been sure about my qualification but since it is now a year to go, so the qualification process will again be on, so again I will have to fight for ranking points. It is not easy to maintain that ranking, can’t say what happens after one year,” Praneeth said.
Parupalli Kashyap has also sought clarification over the qualifying process. “Now that the Olympics have been postponed, we have to see what BWF do with qualification. They haven’t even frozen our rankings yet. We don’t know what will happen. As far as the preparations go, it will still be below par as it’s impossible to train fully at home,” he said.
Another top India singles shuttler HS Prannoy has questioned BWF for not taking any step to ensure the ranking points are protected. “By the time tournaments starts again my ranking would be close to 100. @bwfmedia is not doing anything to freeze the current rankings,” Prannoy had tweeted.
Praneeth, world champion PV Sindhu and men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are currently among the Indian shuttlers currently assured of an Olympic berth.
Sindhu’s father PV Ramana has suggested freezing rankings post All England Championships 2020 and then consider the events for Olympics qualifiers that will be held between March 17 and April 28.
“The situation is very serious and it will hugely impact the Olympic preparation of the athletes because I believe it will take 4-5 months for things to be normal, meaning starting a full-fledged training schedule for next year’s Games,” Ramana said.
“So the only feasible way for BWF is to freeze the rankings till this year’s All England for Olympic qualification and carry on with the rest of the calender whenever things improve and play is resumed. They can then take into consideration the ranking points of the events, which were cancelled this year, but happens next year at the same time keeping the April 28 as the deadline,” he added.
Praneeth said should the BWF decide otherwise, it will affect the ranking of everyone as it’s unlikely the tour will start till July. “I don’t think till July any tournament will happen, I mean since they are postponing Olympics, so how can Superseries go on. So BWF have to freeze the ranking, perhaps till All England, otherwise ranking points will continue to be cut for the cancelled/postponed events and it will affect the ranking of everyone. There is no scope or time to host these postponed qualifiers because the calendar have already been decided,” he said.
BWF though has said it will make an announcement regarding Olympic qualification period in due course.