World Junior Badminton Championships 2020, slated to be held in New Zealand, have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced on Thursday.
The ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and uncertainty left BWF, Badminton New Zealand and tournament organisers no choice but to cancel the event, a BWF statement read. With a host for the next edition already in place for later in 2021, and the uncertainty of the Covid-19 situation expected to stretch into next year, postponement was not an option, it added.
“We are of course disappointed not to be able to stage the 2020 version of the BWF World Junior Championships, but the entry restrictions in place and complexities related to the Covid-19 situation makes it impossible for the event to be planned and therefore hosted in New Zealand in January 2021 as currently scheduled,” said BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund.
The world badminton body further said that Badminton New Zealand are still committed to hosting the World Junior Championships and the BWF have accepted a proposal for them to stage the 2024 edition as a replacement for the edition lost.
Badminton New Zealand Chief Executive Joe Hitchcock said: “Although we are tremendously disappointed with this news, it is the right decision to make due to the current situation.”
“We know that the world was looking forward to visiting New Zealand and enjoying a truly inspiring event with the best young badminton players on the planet and we feel for all those impacted by this cancellation,” he added.