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  • Federation Focus: Badminton's Tokyo 2020 Qualifying Plan


    (ATR) Olympic and Paralympic qualifying for badminton will resume in 2021.

    Canada’s Josephine Wu and Joshua Hurlburt-Yu are currently 14th in the Race to Tokyo ranking list. (BWF)
    The Badminton World Federation on Wednesday outlined the updated regulations, which have been approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

    “Although we aim to resume international tournaments towards the end of 2020, we have chosen to resume the Olympic and Paralympic qualification process only in 2021 to ensure that travel restrictions and other related impacts of COVID-19 are limited,” said BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund.

    The extended qualification period for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 will run through the first 17 weeks of 2021 and include the select number of tournaments that were postponed, cancelled or suspended due to the pandemic.

    All ranking points already earned by athletes during the original qualification period will be maintained under the Race to Tokyo ranking list.

    A revised BWF Tournament Calendar 2021 with the actual dates for these eligible tournaments will be revealed later.

    Paralympic qualification was much less affected by COVID-19 with the Spanish Para Badminton International 2020 the only tournament cancelled during the original qualification period.

    It has now been included in the adjusted qualification system which will run from Jan. 1 to March 28 of next year. The dates for the tournament have not been finalized.

    All ranking points earned at tournaments completed during the original Paralympic qualification period will be maintained under the Race to Tokyo Paralympic ranking list.

    FIVB Launches Athletes’ Relief Support Fund

    FIVB offers short-term financial help to athletes affected by the pandemic. (FIVB)
    The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) is the latest IF to provide short-term financial support to athletes affected financially by the global coronavirus pandemic.

    An initiative of FIVB president Ary S. Graca, the federation officially unveiled its Athletes’ Relief Support fund on Monday.

    “The FIVB understands how much time and dedication every single volleyball and beach volleyball player puts into our sport,” Graca said.

    “They are the heart and soul of volleyball, and without them our sport would not be the global success that it is.

    “We also fully understand that, for some, the necessary postponement or cancellations of FIVB events will have had a significant impact on their everyday lives.

    “Therefore, it is the FIVB’s responsibility to continue to support them in every way we can and that is why the Athletes’ Relief Support fund was created,” he said.

    The FIVB has created a dedicated task force to ensure that funds are distributed in a fair and efficient manner. Athletes can apply thorough an online application process and the task force will transparently evaluate all submittals, conducting eligibility checks and ensuring that the fund assists specified athletes who cannot meet their basic needs.

    The application period runs from May 26 until June 23, 2020.

    ICC Board to Discuss Election, T20 World Cup

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) board meets on Thursday with a couple of major issues to be discussed.

    The ICC Board has some decisions to make on Thursday. (ICC)
    One is the process for electing the next chair for the federation. The board met on Tuesday but no final decision was reached.

    The ICC in a statement on Wednesday also said current chair Shashank Manohar “was not seeking any extension to his term but would support the board to ensure a smooth transition”. Manohar has served since 2015, and was re-elected to a second two-year term in 2018.

    The new chair is expected to take over at the ICC annual general meeting scheduled for the end of July.

    Another item at the top of the agenda will be the future of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020. The 16-team tournament is scheduled for Australia from Oct. 18 to Nov. 15.

    The ICC on Wednesday denied reports that the T20 World Cup has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “planning for the event continues whilst a number of contingency plans are being explored”.

    FIS Reviewing Cortina 2021 Request for Delay

    The International Ski Federation (FIS) Council are pondering a request to postpone the 2021 Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy by a year.
    Cortina organizers want to delay hosting the World Championships from 2021 to 2022. (ATR)

    The Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI) and its Cortina 2021 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) made the request, citing the coronavirus pandemic. Cortina and the surrounding Veneto region were among the areas hit hardest by COVID-19.

    The FIS Council, citing the “multiple implications” of such a decision, says the matter has to be carefully analyzed by all the stakeholders and would be reviewed until July 1.

    The council, meeting online on Monday, confirmed the new dates for the postponed FIS Ski Flying World Championships in Planica, Slovenia. The event, originally set for March 19-22, 2020, will now be held from Dec. 11-13.

    The election for the hosts of the FIS World Championships in 2025 has been scheduled for Oct. 3 in Zurich. If possible, the election will take place in-person, but if the restrictions remain in place then the presentations and election will take place online. A final decision on how the election is held will be made on Aug. 1.

    Only one 2025 event, the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, has more than one bidder. Crans Montana (SUI), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER), and Saalbach (AUT) are in the running.

    The FIS Congress 2020 was re-scheduled to Oct. 4 in Zurich. If on Aug. 1 the FIS Council deems the congress cannot be held as an in-person meeting, it will consider the option of moving it to November. If that is not possible, the 2020 Congress will be postponed until June of 2021 in Portoroz, Slovenia, the date and location of the already scheduled FIS Committee Meetings and Presidents Conference.

    The election of a new president to succeed the retiring Gian-Franco Kasper is top of the agenda for the 2020 Congress.

    Written by Gerard Farek and Brian Pinelli

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