The chances of Saina qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics are severely affected by the Singapore Open Tournament being cancelled.
Other Indian badminton players were also affected because of the cancellation.
The Singapore Open was the last chance for those who wanted to squeeze through to make it to the Tokyo Olympics. But with the news of the Singapore Open Badminton Tournament being cancelled because of the pandemic, the last hope for badminton star Saina Nehwal is virtually over. The $320,000 worth Singapore Open badminton tournament also ended the chances of Kidambi Srikanth from qualifying in the Olympics.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in their statement, “All attempts were made by the organisers (Singapore Badminton Association) and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants.”
They further added that the rising Covid-19 cases globally led to complex challenges in managing inbound travel. Hence, keeping in mind the interests of all players, tournament personnel and the local community’s health and safety, the Singapore Open event has been cancelled.
Saina Nehwal and Srikanth were also trying for India Open and Malaysia Open which were supposed to be held on May 11-16 and May 25-30 respectively. But these two badminton tournaments also got postponed because of COVID-19 and adversely affected them. Both the players were the former No. 1 players but didn’t get a chance to play more due to the cancellation of events.
Nehwal was hoping to play her fourth Olympics this time. She became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal with bronze at London 2012 for Badminton. Srikanth reached the quarter-finals in Rio 2016. Saina and Srikanth had to reach the top 16 in the Race to qualify for Tokyo. But Saina is No. 22 in women’s singles and Srikanth No. 20 in men’s singles as on Wednesday. As their last hope, the Singapore Opens is cancelled, there are no tournaments left to earn points.