(11.02.2021) For the second time in a row, the Corona pandemic is preventing the world’s top-ranked players from competing in Mülheim an der Ruhr in March, where they were expecting to collect points to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokio/Japan:
The YONEX German Open Badminton Championships were the first top-class sports event in Germany to be cancelled in 2020, as a result of the – at that time – novel virus SARS-CoV-2, the management team of the Vermarktungsgesellschaft Badminton Deutschland mbH (VBD). Now, due to the unpredictable developments related to the spread of the virus worldwide and the risks and limitations this brings with it, the YONEX German Open will not be able to take place in 2021. This decision was made by the Vermarktungsgesellschaft Badminton Deutschland mbH (VBD), which is responsible for running the event on behalf of the German Badminton Association (Deutsche Badminton Verband – DBV).
“We have examined various scenarios with regard to the feasibility of the tournament, in order to have a comprehensive risk-analysis, which includes financial concerns, as well as a number of other aspects. Ultimately, we were forced to accept that a cancellation of the YONEX German Open 2021 is the only option”, explained Thomas Born, one of the VBD’s two Managing and also President of the German Badminton Association. “Making this decision was extremely tough for us, however, the financial consequences, resulting from the current adverse conditions, are too great for us to bear. The VBD has already suffered severe losses due to the pandemic”, Thomas Born went on to say.
Tournament Director, Louise Huber-Fennell, Assistant Tournament Director, Niko Jockenhöfer, who is also Managing Director of the VBD alongside Thomas Born, wish to thank all of VBD’s partners for their understanding with respect to this decision – in particular the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the tournament’s main and title sponsor YONEX, the State of North Rhein-Westphalia, the City of Mülheim an der Ruhr, and the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR), all of whom went to great extents to enable the „HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300“ tournament to take place. “Our deepest gratitude also goes out to the YONEX German Open Event Office Team, which has worked tirelessly, with passion and dedication, to making this challenging tournament possible”, says the management team.
It is particularly new circumstances and insights that have been gained since the end of January, in a variety of areas that affect the tournament, which led the organisation committee to opt for a cancellation of the tournament, Louise Huber-Fennell and Niko Jockenhöfer explained.
The tournament was subject to a strict safety protocol, which included establishing a “Badminton Family Bubble”, the absence of the public, and an extremely limited number of personnel in the Westenergie Sporthalle (formerly innogy Sporthalle). More than 400 players from over 40 nations had registered to play in at the YONEX German Open 2021, including second-time World Champion in men’s singles, Kento Momota from Japan, and the 2016 Olympic Champion in women’s singles, Carolina Marin from Spain.
The international badminton championships experienced their German premiere in 1955. In 2021, it would have been the 63rd time that this prestigious tournament would have taken place in Germany. Aside from the past two “corona years” – 2020 and 2021 – it has only been cancelled three times before: 1970, 1979 and 1998.
Unfortunately, postponing the YONEX German Open 2021 to a later date will not be possible for various reasons.
MS: Kento MOMOTA [JPN; seed no. 1]
WS: Akane YAMAGUCHI [JPN; seed no. 2]
MD: Hiroyuki ENDO/Yuta WATANABE [JPN; seed no. 2]
WD: DU Yue/LI Yinhui [CHN; seed no. 8]
MX: SEO Seung Jae/CHAE Yujung [KOR; seed no. 8]