Badminton: 2021 World Championships rescheduled to avoid Tokyo clash

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The 2021 badminton World Championships will move from its August slot and begin in late November to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next year, the game's governing body said on Friday.

The tournament will be held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5 in the Spanish city of Huelva, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement.

The Tokyo Games, originally scheduled to start in July this year, have been postponed to July 23-Aug. 8, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be followed by the Paralympic Games which will run from Aug. 24-Sep. 5.

"The move allows both the Olympic badminton competition and the World Championships to be conducted with equal fairness for everyone," BWF president Poul-Erik Hoyer said.

The decision to reschedule this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games prompted the move, said BWF, hoping the World Championship will "shine brightly" in the "condensed sports calendar".

"The new schedule will allow players to have a clear focus for 2021 in which they will have dual objectives of both the Olympic Games and World Championships," it added.

BWF is yet to finalise remainder of the 2021 tournament calendar, highlighting the extent of the damage caused by the pandemic.

The qualifying process for next year's Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and World Championships will be announced later, it added.

The Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Denmark was moved to Oct. 3-11 on Wednesday after the Danish government extended its ban on large gatherings in the country until the end of August.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Christian Radnedge)

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