Badminton’s showpiece Thomas and Uber Cup was yesterday postponed after a string of countries withdrew over COVID-19 fears, officials said, in a major blow to the sport’s restart.
The men’s and women’s world team championships had been set to take place in Aarhus, Denmark, next month, and would have been the first international tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic halted badminton in March.
However, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said that it had taken the “tough decision” to delay the event as the pullouts meant the organizers were not able to deliver a high enough level of competition.
No new dates were announced for the tournament, but the BWF said that it would not take place before next year.
“These are exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in, and while a return to international badminton remains a priority for the BWF, the health and safety of the entire badminton community is of utmost importance,” the BWF said in a statement.
A further delay to the tournament had started to look inevitable after some of Asia’s top talent withdrew.
Indonesia, who are 13-time Thomas Cup champions, as well as Taiwan, Australia, South Korea and Thailand had all decided to skip the event.
Leading Indian player Saina Nehwal, who had been due to play in the women’s Uber Cup, had questioned whether pushing ahead was a good idea, while the Olympic Council of Malaysia had also called for a postponement.
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