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No Olympic qualifying events left for badminton players

March 20, 2020 GMT
Sapsiree Taerattanachai, of Thailand, with partner Dechapol Puavaranukroh, background right, plays a shot to Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti, left, of Indonesia during the Mixed Doubles final match at the All England Open Badminton tournament in Birmingham, England, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Sapsiree Taerattanachai, of Thailand, with partner Dechapol Puavaranukroh, background right, plays a shot to Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti, left, of Indonesia during the Mixed Doubles final match at the All England Open Badminton tournament in Birmingham, England, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The last chances for badminton players to qualify for the Olympics were suspended on Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Five tournaments scheduled in April were called off, including the European Championships in Kyiv, Ukraine; the Asia Championships in Manila, Philippines; and the Pan Am Individual Championships in Lima, Peru. The Asians and Pan Ams had already been relocated once.

All three continental championships were to finish on April 26, the last day of the year-long Olympic qualifying period.

The Badminton World Federation has yet to say how its mothballed circuit will impact on qualification for the Tokyo Games.

The other events suspended were the Croatian International and Peru International, both from April 16-19.

Also, the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark, were postponed from May 16-24 to Aug. 15-23. Denmark is staging the biennial finals for the first time; they were last in Europe in 1982.

The last ranking tournament completed was last Sunday, the All England Open in Birmingham, England.

Every tournament in the remaining six weeks to the Olympic cut-off date is postponed, suspended or canceled.

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