BWF confirms cancellation of World Junior Championships; VICTOR Oceania Championships 2021 postponed

BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Championships 2020

BWF and the organisers of the BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Championships 2020 have confirmed that the Championships – which were rescheduled for January 2021 – have been cancelled.

The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty around this, left BWF and Badminton New Zealand no choice but to cancel the Championships.

With the 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.

BWF appreciates 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. It has been a difficult and extraordinary year during the pandemic.

We all look forward to a more consistent junior international badminton calendar in 2021 and the next BWF World Junior Championships in China in October, 2021.

Badminton New Zealand continued to be very interested in hosting a BWF World Junior Championships, and the BWF Council decided at its recent meeting that the 2024 edition of the Championships will be organised and hosted by Badminton New Zealand.

The junior event formed a crucial part of our player development programme.

Badminton Oceania (BOC) has been working closely with five target countries from the player development programme for the last 18 months, namely the Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tahiti and Tonga. To prepare for the event, the players attended development camps in New Zealand throughout 2019, and also trained together at a camp which took place in the days leading up to Oceania’s continental championships in Ballarat, Australia, in February 2020. All programmes aligned with the developing coaches from their respective countries.

“The cancellation of this tournament is obviously disappointing but was inevitable and as such BOC has been working on alternative plans for 2021 to ensure these players keep motivated and focused,” says Badminton Oceania secretary General, Julie Carrel.

Read the full press release on the BWF Fan site: here

VICTOR Oceania Championships 2021 postponed

The VICTOR Oceania Championships 2021 was set to combine the biggest elements of the Continental Championships, bringing together the region’s top junior and open players under one roof for the open and junior individual and mixed team events.

However, the tournament has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was originally scheduled to take place from February 15 to 21, 2021, in North Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand.

o   VICTOR Oceania Junior Mixed Team Championships 2021– Auckland – Feb 15-17, 2021

o   VICTOR Oceania Junior Championships 2021 – Auckland – Feb 18-21, 2021

o   VICTOR Oceania Mixed Team Championships 2021 – Auckland – Feb 15-17, 2021

o   VICTOR Oceania Championships 2021 – Auckland – Feb 18-21, 2021

To combat COVID-19, New Zealand continues to extend its border closures and each of BOC’s member associations has differing restrictions and logistics associated with laws, travel and quarantine. Therefore, BOC will be working closely with the BWF and other key stakeholders to find a feasible date (to be confirmed) to make the Continental Championships accessible to all.

The combined event last took place in 2019 at Melbourne’s Sport and Aquatic Centre. The junior disciplines only take part every second year, which plays a pivotal role in Badminton Oceania’s Player Development pathway.

The VICTOR Oceania Open Mixed Team Championships 2021 was the qualifying event for the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2021. More information surrounding Oceania’s continental spot at the World Mixed Team Championships will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Additionally, this has no impact on players aiming for Olympic qualification. Despite the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games being postponed to 2021, the amassed World Ranking points will not contribute towards the Road To Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification. As per the regulations provided by the BWF in June, only the points from the 2020 Continental Championships will count towards Olympic qualification.

“As always, the safety of all those involved with the Championships continues to be a priority.”

“This is the pinnacle event for our continental calendar, particularly for the junior players and we look forward to finding a solution and overcoming this challenge,” says Badminton Oceania Secretary General, Julie Carrel.

New dates will be communicated as soon as these are confirmed.

From BWF media release