Badminton to return from seventh-month hiatus at Denmark Open

Elwanda Tulloch

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) Denmark Open will mark the return of international badminton after a seven-month break sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Competition is due to begin tomorrow, running until October 18 in Odense. Due to the ongoing health risk, the BWF and organisers Badminton Denmark have published two […]

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) Denmark Open will mark the return of international badminton after a seven-month break sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Competition is due to begin tomorrow, running until October 18 in Odense.

Due to the ongoing health risk, the BWF and organisers Badminton Denmark have published two documents outlining health and safety protocols for the tournament.

The recommendations are based off advice from the Danish Government, health authorities and other event organisers, and attempt to shield competitors and core tournament personnel from direct contact with the outside world.

A bubble system will be in place, with all players, officials and other personnel being tested upon arrival in Odense and only allowed into the bio-secure environment following a negative result.

Players will receive shuttlecocks from dispensers instead of service judges and handshakes are to be avoided.

Media interviews with players must be pre-approved and conducted under socially-distanced conditions.

Players will also be asked to go back to their hotel straight from the venue and only enter non-congested areas of the city for exercise and to buy food.

A maximum of 500 spectators are allowed into the venue, Odense Sportspark, each day under revised guidelines.

Kento Momota is the most high-profile player to miss the Denmark Open ©Getty Images
Kento Momota is the most high-profile player to miss the Denmark Open ©Getty Images

Many of the world’s top players are skipping this tournament, including men’s singles number one Kento Momota.

He is one of 15 Japanese players to withdraw due to the concerns over COVID-19.

Withdrawals lead to the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, a showpiece team event also scheduled to take place in Denmark, being postponed for a third time. 

Former world number one Saina Nehwal of India and her husband, world number 24 Parupalli Kashyap, have also decided not to play in the Denmark Open.

However, women’s world number four Nozomi Okuhara and Kenta Nishimoto – 16th in the men’s rankings, and both from Japan – have confirmed their participation at the Denmark Open.

Carolina Marín of Spain and Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-chen are both set to compete too and among the women’s and men’s favourites respectively.

Marín is the reigning Olympic champion.

This competition comes before three consecutive BWF World Tour events in Bangkok, including the season-ending Finals.

World Tour events in France, New Zealand, Macau, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand have all been removed from the calendar this year due to the pandemic.

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