The Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced that the World Junior Badminton Championships to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2020 have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although, the World Federation did a commendable job last week by successfully organizing the Denmark Open BWF Super 750, unfortunately, the Junior World Meet has been cancelled.
Thomas Lund, BWF secretary-general stated, “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 make it impossible for the event to be planned and therefore hosted in New Zealand in January 2021 as currently scheduled.”
The World Badminton body further stated that Badminton New Zealand is still committed to hosting the World Junior Championships and the BWF has accepted an offer for them to stage the 2024 edition as a replacement for the cancelled edition.
"We would like to thank Badminton New Zealand, tournament organisers, its partners ATEED and the New Zealand Government for their enthusiasm and commitment to staging the World Junior Championships,” Thomas stated.
“It only seems fair recognition of their efforts to stage these championships that we award them the 2024 edition. We appreciate that some junior players will turn 19 years old in 2021 and unfortunately miss out on a BWF World Junior Championships experience. We can only encourage them to continue to develop their talent as badminton athletes and start to enter open international events," he added.
Joe Hitchcock, Chief Executive of Badminton New Zealand, 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," Joe added.