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Indian shuttlers want BWF to freeze rankings

B Sai Praneeth

Bengaluru, March 26: In the wake of postponement of 2020 Olympics, Indian shuttlers want the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to freeze the rankings and have sought clarity about the qualification process of the Tokyo Games, which is likely to be held next year.

The BWF had suspended all HSBC BWF World Tour events post the All England Championships due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and there were calls for the extension of the Olympic qualification period which falls on April 28.

But now with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponing the Olympics to next year, shuttlers believe its time BWF immediately freeze the ranking.

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"Our points are getting deducted even though the tournaments were postponed by BWF due to the coronavirus. Swiss Open got postponed but my points got deducted. So like this, if they keep slashing the points for all the qualifiers which were postponed, I don't know what will happen," top Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth told PTI news agency.

"BWF should at least freeze the rankings, later they can decide about the qualification depending on the the dates of Olympics but as of now there is no clarity."

Praneeth, who was set to make his Olympic debut, said he is no more sure about his participation as he will have to fight again for points.

"If Olympics had happened in July, I would've been sure about my qualification, but since it's now a year to go, the qualification process will again be on, so I'll have to fight for ranking points again. It isn't easy to maintain that ranking, can't say what happens after one year."

A former top 10 player, H S Prannoy also expressed his concerns.

"By the time tournaments starts again my ranking would be close to 100. @bwfmedia is not doing anything to freeze the current rankings," he tweeted.

London Games quarterfinalist Parupalli Kashyap, who alongwith Saina Nehwal had earlier urged the world body to extend the qualification period, also wondered why it is taking so much time for BWF to freeze the rankings.

"Now that the Olympics have been postponed, we've to see what BWF do with qualification. They haven't even frozen our rankings yet. We don't know what'll happen.

"As far as the preparations go, it'll still be below par as it's impossible to train fully at home," said Kashyap.

(With PTI inputs)

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Story first published: Thursday, March 26, 2020, 11:58 [IST]
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