After much deliberation by officials, the Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) in Wuhan, China, on April 21-26, has been called off due to the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed more than 2000 lives and infected over 76,000 people.
It is understood that Badminton Asia are already looking for a new host for their flagship event, one of the last few tournaments to offer Olympic qualifying points.
“We’re working on it, looking for a new host,” a source close to the regional governing body told Timesport yesterday.
With Wuhan being the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was inevitable that the BAC will not be held in the Chinese city.
Earlier this month, the Badminton World Federation postponed the China Masters because of the coronavirus.
China and Hong Kong were forced to withdraw from last week’s Badminton Asia Team Championships in Manila due to travel bans on them.
India’s women’s team also withdrew from the competition as a precautionary measure.
On Friday, BWF announced that China shuttlers have been given the greenlight to compete in European tournaments on the BWF World Tour.
The China BA have confirmed that their shuttlers were not infected by the virus, and they have been based in the United Kingdom for the past one week.
“Since the outbreak of coronavirus, there has been close attention on whether the Chinese team could train and participate in tournaments.
“We would like to explain that members of the Chinese badminton team are healthy and that no one is infected or suspected of being infected.
“The majority of the team travelled to the UK for training (last week) and the rest remained in Beijing applying for British visa.
“The Chinese badminton team will continue to participate in tournaments including the German Open, All England and Swiss Open,” read the statement from the China BA.