Badminton World Federation (BWF) President Poul-Erik Høyer has claimed three back-to-back World Tour events in Thailand in January will “kickstart” the sport’s successful return after signing a hosting agreement with organisers in the Asian country.
International badminton returned earlier this month with the Denmark Open. It was the first major BWF event held since the COVID-19 crisis ground sport across the world to a halt.
The BWF Council announced in September that Bangkok would stage the three events, comprising two BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournaments and the World Tour Finals, after confirming the calendar for the remaining competitions on this season’s circuit.
Thailand’s capital is set to welcome the top badminton players in the world over three weeks, starting with the
Tournament 1 – Yonex Thailand Open from January 12 to 17.
Tournament 2 – Toyota Thailand Open is scheduled for January 19 to 24,
Tournament 3 – World Tour Finals January 27 and 31.
“The Asian leg presents an important opportunity for us to kickstart badminton’s successful return and to see our players back in action,” said Høyer.
“Thailand has a strong history of organising major badminton tournaments and we trust our hosts to deliver a spectacular month of badminton in January 2021.
“Together we have the chance to make badminton shine once again on the international sports calendar.”
BWF President says ‘BWF triple events in Thailand will stimulate the economy as well’
The BWF had pushed back the Asian leg of the World Tour by two months from November to January in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The global governing body said the move to January “provides the BWF with the best possible opportunity to resume and complete the HSBC BWF World Tour for 2020 as part of our return to international badminton”.
The tournaments will be played under a series of strict COVID-19 guidelines designed to protect players and other participants.
“We have tremendous support to deliver these historic badminton tournaments in Thailand under strict control for the safety and health of everyone,” said BWF Deputy President and Badminton Association of Thailand head Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul.
“The tournaments will make people proud of the country because it is the first time that three tournaments of this kind will be held in one month in one country.
“At the same time, it is expected to stimulate the economy that has been stagnant since the COVID-19 pandemic.”