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India Open to be the last Olympic-qualifying event

P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. File   | Photo Credit: G.P. Sampath Kumar

The twice-cancelled $400,000 India Open will now be held here from May 11 to 16, 2021, and will be the final Olympic-qualifying event.


As per the tournament-schedule released by the Badminton World Federation on Monday, points earned from 17 tournaments — commencing with the Swiss Open (March 2-7) and culminating with the India Open — will help players stake claim for a berth in the Tokyo Olympics.



Race to Tokyo


The All England Open (March 17-21) and Malaysia Masters (April 6-11) will, however, not be part of the Olympic qualifying cycle, popularly known as the ‘Race to Tokyo’.


Olympic qualification will be based on the ‘Race to Tokyo’ rankings published on May 18. These will also be used to determine Olympics seedings.


Meanwhile, an Indian team comprising P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, B. Sai Praneeth, K. Srikanth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy will travel to Bangkok for two back-to-back million-dollar Thailand Opens, from January 12-17 and January 19-24.


Remote chance


Though the BWF World Tour Finals will follow from January 27-31, the chance of an Indian participant looks remote. Only Srikanth, placed eighth in the BWF World Tour rankings has some chance to cement his place in the eight-player draw.


Unlikely to make it


World No. 7 and defending champion Sindhu is ranked 22nd — five places behind Saina Nehwal — and looks unlikely to make the cut.


Till last season, the defending champion enjoyed an automatic entry into the next edition of the Finals. However, in October, a change in BWF regulations forced Sindhu to search for World Tour points, in order to be among the top-eight ranked players who play in the cash-rich season-ending finale.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 4:43:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/india-open-to-be-the-last-olympic-qualifying-event/article33383327.ece

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