Saina suggests extension of Olympic qualification period

Saina suggests extension of Olympic qualification period
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New Delhi: Shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap on Saturday sought clarity on the situation around the outbreak of coronavirus and suggested...

New Delhi: Shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap on Saturday sought clarity on the situation around the outbreak of coronavirus and suggested that the qualification period for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics be extended in light of tournaments getting cancelled as part of precautionary measures taken against the epidemic.

In a series of tweets, Saina and her husband Kashyap said that the reduced number of tournaments leaves very little chance for players on the fringe of qualification to improve rankings.

"Qualification period can be extended if the tournaments are getting cancelled cause of #coronavirus (sic.)," Saina said, tagging the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"It will be unfair for most of the players who are really close to qualifying for Olympics 2020," she said.

Saina made her comments while retweeting Kashyap, who also provided an update on a back injury that he suffered during the Spain Masters earlier in the month.

"We all had 7 events starting from Spain Masters until the Singapore Open and few have the Asian Champs too," tweeted Kashyap.

"Now that German Open is cancelled and Swiss Open looking doubtful and Singapore and Malaysia Opens also with the same worries, it will be completely unfair for so many athletes who are on the borderline of qualification at this moment.

"7 events are a lot of events considering the best 10 performances in a qualifying period are chosen. If at all the virus is contained and slowly everything comes back to normalcy in a few months and the Olympics takes place on same dates then BWF and IOC have to revise and extend the qualification dates and make sure they add on the events later or make it a fair qualification.

"I understand that everything has to be assumed at this moment but I hope all the athletes have a fair chance to qualify for the Olympics. Many players were injured in the last year when the qualification period started and now if they're fit and hope to do well in the next events, what happens to their qualification chances if most the events are doubtful as of now," Kashyap asked.

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