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Badminton: BWF moves Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in Denmark to October

Thomas Lund, secretary general of the Badminton World Federation, speaks at a news conference during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad/Files

(Reuters) - The Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark will be held from Oct. 3-11 after the Danish government extended its ban on large gatherings in the country until the end of August, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said on Wednesday.

The biennial international tournament, originally scheduled to take place from May 16-24, had been postponed to August 15-23 due to the new coronavirus outbreak which has infected more than 3.11 million people globally causing over 216,000 deaths.

Denmark, which has over 8,800 cases, said earlier this month that “larger gatherings” would be banned, prompting the BWF and Badminton Denmark to conclude that a move to October was the best solution.

“Our main priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of athletes, staff, volunteers, judges and the entire badminton community,” BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said.

“We listened to the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO), various health experts, local authorities and the Danish Government and it became clear that hosting a big event like the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals before September would be difficult.

“We are confident that we can stage a safe and successful championships on the new dates of October 3-11 while all the time monitoring the situation should things change.”

The BWF said that it was also looking at options to host its annual general meeting and members’ forum which were due to take place in Aarhus in August.

The badminton season was suspended following the All England Open last month and several events have either been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic which has brought global sport to a standstill.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore