New BWF tournament calendar away from Asia

(ATR) The Badminton World Federation is releasing an updated tournament calendar for the remainder of 2021 with significant changes to event dates and locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BWF General Secretary Thomas Lund (BWF)

Following a comprehensive feasibility study, BWF 10 canceled previously planned BWF World Tour tournaments for the third and fourth quarters of the year, all of which were held in Asia and Oceania. Cancellations include the China Open, Japan Open, and India Open.

The BWF has also named new venues for two competitions relocated from China: the BWF Sudirman Cup Finals and the BWF World Tour Finals. The former has been relocated to Vantaa, Finland (September 26th – October 3rd), while the latter will remain in Bali, Indonesia (December 1st – 5th) as one of the few tournaments in Asia.

“Europe is currently seen as a more feasible region for hosting tournaments with higher vaccination rates and fewer travel restrictions,” said BWF General Secretary Thomas Lund. “Although a number of tournament organizers in Asia are keen to host tournaments, the general feedback on COVID-19 restrictions and the uncertainty of the situation there has meant that few tournaments are likely to be able to take place.”

The 2021 badminton season ends in December with the World Cup in Huelva, Spain. Immediately after the Olympic Games in Tokyo, a new player ranking cycle begins.

World Taekwondo embraces virtual sparring

World Taekwondo announces the development of a new virtual sparring technology, with which Taekwondo games can take place completely remotely for the first time.

World Taekwondo virtual sparring (AT)

As a product of the association’s partnership with Refract Technologies, virtual sparring includes real-time movement tracking of a player’s movements; Players can kick and punch their opponent’s avatar in real time from anywhere in the world. Use of this technology would not only remove physical barriers to competition, but would also allow athletes of different weights and genders to compete on an equal footing.

“World Taekwondo has been a leader in the introduction of innovative technologies. We have long been committed to aligning ourselves with the 2020 Olympic Agenda and now the IOC’s 2020 + 5 Vision for growing digital engagement, ”said Chungwon Choue, President of World Taekwondo.

World Taekwondo has already planned virtual competitions for 2022. The association’s announcement comes one week after the end of the first Olympic Virtual Series, a virtual mass sports event with five other disciplines.

World Athletics relocates Race Walking Team Championships Team

The World Athletics Council is postponing the 2022 World Race Walking Team Championships previously planned in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

The decision came after a report by the World Athletics Risk Committee, which identified several risk factors for hosting the championships in Minsk. The main ones included uncertainties about Belarus’ diplomatic relations with other countries and international travel restrictions.

In a press release, World Athletics stated that it “continues to have confidence in the local Organizing Committee and the Belarusian Athletics Federation, which, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, have worked hard and well to run this event and regret that circumstances outside of theirs Lying in control “led to this decision.”

Several other international sporting events have also withdrawn from Belarus in recent months due to the political unrest in the country; in particular the men’s ice hockey world championships, the European track cycling championships and a stage of the biathlon world cup.

Olympic basketball qualification culminates

The final four spots for the men’s basketball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics are set this week, with 23 teams from around the world competing in four different venues.

Qualifiers will be held in Victoria, Canada; Split, Croatia; Kaunas, Lithuania and Belgrade, Serbia. Six teams take part in each competition, with the exception of five in Belgrade, where the original contestant Senegal retired due to COVID-19 disruptions in their preparation.

The winners of each qualifying group will meet hosts Japan and the seven Olympic-qualified nations of the 2019 World Basketball Championship: Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Spain, Nigeria and the United States. The men’s basketball tournament at the Tokyo Games will be held from July 25th to August 7th.

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Written by Filip Vachuda

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