What Saina, Srikanth need to do to make it to Tokyo Olympics 2020
After losing their respective first round matches at the All England Open, Saina and Srikanth's chances of making it to Tokyo 2020 were dealt a huge blow.
Indian badminton stars Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth's chances of making the cut for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games took a massive hit on Wednesday. Both the shuttlers surrendered in straight sets in the first round of the prestigious All England Super 1000 tournament, thus failing to gain valuable ranking points.
In the Race to Tokyo 2020 rankings, both Saina and Srikanth have fallen behind due to their poor run of form. While Saina is placed at 22nd, Srikanth finds himself lagging behind at 21st. They will get some points for making an appearance at the Super 1000 event but had they progressed to the quarters or the semis, their rankings would have received a major boost.
Currently, as the situation stands, Saina and Srikanth have to win at least a Super 500 or 750 title to even come close to qualifying for the Olympics. But that's easier said than done. For, even if Saina and Srikanth find their form somehow in the weeks to come, the threat of coronavirus looms large.
Only three Super 500 or Super 750 tournaments remain before the cut off date, the India Open, the Malaysian Open and the Singapore Open. However, in India itself, several tournaments have been postponed because of coronavirus threat. And chances are, some of these tournaments might get postponed (if not cancelled).
Now, despite several tournaments getting pushed, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has said that it is not making any adjustments to the Olympic qualification period.
"It is unfortunate that some tournaments have been postponed or cancelled and BWF appreciates that these tournaments have been part of players' plans to seek qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and other tournaments where qualification is required," the BWF said in a statement.
"Any change to the existing Olympic qualification rules will affect different players both positively or negatively, and with the present level of postponement and cancellation, BWF does not believe that making changes is appropriate. The postponement or cancellation of tournaments is not within the control of hosts, BWF or the badminton community."
As such, it is imperative that Saina and Srikanth pull up their socks and win a few matches and hopefully, a couple of titles.