The Olympic qualification period for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics has been extended to June 15, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced in a statement on Friday. It was earlier scheduled to end on May 16.
"The Olympic Qualifying period for the Race to Tokyo will now close on 15 June 2021, with the last tournament counting for qualification being the Singapore Open 2021," the statement read.
"BWF is working with the IOC to update the Tokyo 2020 qualification system whereby the final updated regulation will be shared once ready following formal approval by IOC," it added.
Each nation can enter a maximum of two entries in any of the events. Players ranked in the top 16 in singles and top 8 in doubles qualify automatically. The singles events will comprise 38 men and 38 women, while the doubles events will have 16 pairs each in the men's, women's and mixed category.
The Indians who are currently on course to qualify for the Olympics based on their rankings are PV Sindhu (currently 7th in the Race to Tokyo rankings) and B Sai Praneeth (13th) in singles, and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (10th) in doubles.
The world body said preparations for the Olympic qualifying tournaments will continue with the Swiss Open 2021 (March 2-7) and the All England Open 2021 (March 17-21).
This development came after the postponement of two tournaments -- Malaysia and Singapore Open -- from their earlier scheduled dates. The Malaysia Open 2021 (Super 750) will now take place between May 25-30. The Malaysia Masters (Super 500), originally to be held in April, has been postponed until further notice. The Singapore Open 2021 (Super 500) has now been moved to June 1-6.
"Both cited ongoing COVID-19 complications and wished for the tournaments to be delayed," the BWF said.
The Indonesia Masters 2021 and Indonesia Open 2021 have also been postponed due to the change in dates. The new dates of these tournaments will be announced in due course.