January will be a feast for Indian badminton fans. After a gap of two years, India is set to host three Badminton World Federation (BWF) tournaments to kick off the 2022 season.
With the COVID-19 pandemic at large, all BWF events in India were scrapped in 2020 and 2021.
However, the BWF, the world’s governing body for badminton, has decided to restructure the entire 2022 calendar to ensure players and all stakeholders travel in such a way that are able to keep COVID at bay.
As per the new schedule released on Thursday, the first three events on the 2022 BWF calendar will be held in India.
The season kicks off with the India Open BWF Super 500 tournament from January 11 to 16. The caravan then moves onto the Syed Modi International, a BWF Super 300 event, scheduled from January 18 to 23.
The inaugural Odisha Open BWF Super 100 event, pencilled in from January 25 to 30, wraps up the India leg of the BWF World Tour before it moves to Europe for the Spain Masters.
Both the India Open, typically held in March, and Syed Modi International were not held in the last two years due to the pandemic.
BWF’s 2022 calendar is based on the principle of clustering tournaments to restrict travel. This will be applicable in both Asia and Europe.
The strategy proved effective when the BWF calendar resumed with the Asian Leg in Thailand in January 2021 after a long COVID break in 2020.
The All England Open in 2022 will be held in March, the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals will take place in Thailand in May, while the 2022 world championships will be hosted in Japan in August.
The Indonesia Open in June and the two China Opens in November and December will be the other big events to watch out for before the season concludes with the BWF World Tour Finals in December.