The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has outlined the updated qualifying regulations for the Paralympic Games scheduled to take place in Tokyo next year.
The priority was to ensure a fair solution to the disrupted qualification system in order to qualify players for the postponed Games, and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) approved the amendments.
The Spanish Para Badminton International 2020 was the only tournament cancelled within the original Paralympic qualification period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament has now been included in the adjusted qualification system within a period from 1 January to 28 March 2021.
All ranking points earned at tournaments completed during the original Paralympic qualification period will be maintained under the ‘Race to Tokyo Paralympic Ranking list.’ A date for the Spanish Para Badminton International will be announced in due course.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said: “This change will allow players to complete their planned run for Paralympic qualification. Players will also be able to live up to eligibility criteria as stated in the regulations, which is a minimum of three tournaments.”
The BWF is still working on the exact model for the unfreezing of all world rankings in a staggered way to avoid any extreme drop off of points that would affect the ranking structure.
There are also ongoing considerations around the mandatory player regulations and other aspects of the BWF regulations, including new procedures for hosting international tournaments in the safest and most comfortable way for all participants.
A further announcement will be made once all circumstances have been carefully considered.
Amended Paralympic regulations can be found on the BWF’s website, on section 5.4.3.
Lund commented: “It has been a thorough process with the close and valuable consultation of the Athletes’ Commission to consider how best to make adjustments to the Olympic and Paralympic qualification system.
“We feel this is a fair solution for all athletes and it will be our first and main priority to conduct these tournaments as part of badminton and Para badminton’s adjusted return in the wake of COVID-19.
“Although we aim to resume international tournaments towards the end of 2020, we have chosen to resume the Olympic and Paralympic qualification process only in 2021 to ensure that travel restrictions and other related impacts of COVID-19 are limited.”