The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Wednesday announced that the upcoming India Open Super 500 will go ahead as planned. The tournament will be held in New Delhi from March 24-29 as scheduled, but is likely to be staged behind closed doors without spectators due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
“Enhanced precautionary measures will be in place to ensure the welfare and safety of players, their entourage and officials. This includes the likelihood of the tournament being staged behind closed doors without spectators,” the BWF said in a statement.
This decision was taken after the BAI had written to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) expressing their concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, asking for the tournament to be postponed.
“The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of India (BAI) confirmed the decision after BAI consulted experts over the past few days regarding advisories issued by health authorities in India,” the statement added.
The foreign top players expected to show up for the tournament are Viktor Axelsen, Shi Yuqi, Carolina Marin, Chen Yufei, Akane Yamaguchi and He Bingjiao, among others.
The tournament falls within the Tokyo 2020 qualification period, which ends on April 26, and will therefore serve as an important opportunity for players to earn valuable points.