The Jakarta Post
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced on Wednesday the new competition dates for the Thomas and Uber Cup championships, which are set for Oct. 3 to 11, in Aarhus, Denmark.
The biennial badminton championships, contested by the men’s and women’s national teams of BWF members, were initially scheduled for May 16 to 24 and had then been postponed to Aug. 15 to 23 following the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, because of Denmark’s ban on large gatherings, from April 4 until the end of August, the federation had no option but to set new dates for the tournament.
“We listened to the advice of the World Health Organization, various health experts, local authorities and the Danish government and it became clear that hosting big events like the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals before September would be difficult,” BWF secretary-general Thomas Lund said in a statement published on the BWF official website, bwfbadminton.com, on Wednesday.
Ideally, the BWF should have played other international tournaments in advance of the Thomas and Uber Cup to prepare athletes for the major international event. However, the federation has not yet announced fixed dates for any of those tournaments.
Despite having five months of preparation, the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) has not decided on a strategy for the tournament.
PBSI secretary-general Achmad Budiarto said the federation still awaited more tournament dates. He also stressed the importance of having other tournaments prior to the Thomas and Uber Cup, saying “practice without a competition would result in a different feel.”
“It would be better if there were tournaments [prior to the Thomas and Uber Cup] as warm-ups for the athletes. They need to take part in such competitions so that they can be better prepared,” said Achmad in a statement on Wednesday.
Nonetheless, Achmad believes the new dates in October for the Thomas and Uber Cup are the best decision.
“Based on the country’s prediction, the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia will happen in May. Hopefully, in June, July or August we can get back to normal, so we’ll have time for preparation in August and September, at the very least,” he added.
The Indonesia Open, an annual national badminton tournament organized by the PBSI, which was scheduled for June 16 to 21, is also on hold without further announcement of new dates.
The Thomas and Uber Cup is not the only major sports event that has been hit hard by the pandemic. The Tokyo Olympic Games, initially set for July 24 to Aug. 9, have been rescheduled to July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. The ASEAN Para Games in Philippines have also been pushed back to March 21-27 next year.