Badminton’s China, Japan Opens axed because of coronavirus

In this file photo taken on September 13, 2018 a girl watches second round matches at the Japan Open badminton championships in Tokyo. (AFP / Toshifumi Kitamura
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Updated 29 July 2020

Badminton’s China, Japan Opens axed because of coronavirus

  • In a normal year, the China Open and Japan Open would have attracted fields containing all the world’s top-ranked men and women players

TOKYO: Badminton’s prestigious China and Japan Opens were canceled Wednesday by the Badminton World Federation as it announced that four September tournaments in Asia would not be played because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Taipei Open from September 1-6, the Korea Open (Sept 8-13), the China Open (Sept 15-20) and the Japan Open (Sept 22-27) were all axed.
“We are deeply disappointed to have to cancel tournaments, but feel that the wellbeing of everyone involved is most important at this time,” BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said in a statement.
“We share the disappointment of many around the world who were looking forward to the return of badminton and appreciate all of the continued support from our fans and partners as we continue to navigate the remainder of the 2020 season,” he added.
The pandemic has upended sports events around the world, from the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to the cancelation of Wimbledon.
On Tuesday, the WTA Pan Pacific Open in Japan, one of Asia’s top tennis tournaments, was canceled for the first time.
Last week, the men’s ATP Tour and women’s WTA Tour announced all tennis tournaments in China for the rest of the year had been canceled, including the Shanghai Masters and WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
Badminton is massively popular across Asia and the China Open is one of only two top-ranked World Super Tour 1000 series tournaments on the calendar while the Japan Open is one of the five annual World Tour Super 750 events.
In a normal year devoid of the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, both would have attracted fields containing all the world’s top-ranked men and women players.
Later events in Asia such as the Super 500 Hong Kong Open in November and December’s World Tour finals in China remain listed on the calendar, but the BWF cautioned that a decision on future events “will be made in due course.”


Golf Saudi strikes partnership with the Club Managers Association of Europe

Updated 5 min 29 sec ago

Golf Saudi strikes partnership with the Club Managers Association of Europe

  • Educational program will be tailored to support Saudis’ career pathway in and through golf

RIYADH: Golf Saudi and the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) have signed an ambitious new partnership to work together to roll out a certified Arabic language educational program. This is the first of its kind, aimed at encouraging Saudi nationals to pursue a career in golf.

CMAE will set up an education platform in Saudi Arabia, drawing on its industry-renowned approach, to assist Golf Saudi in developing the domestic golf talent pool and ultimately creating new Saudi national certified club managers.

The association is a nonprofit making professional body with members involved in the management of sports clubs, health and fitness clubs and leisure, city and dining clubs in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Commenting on the partnership, CMAE’s director of education, Torbjörn Johansson, said: “Golf Saudi’s pursuit of creating a progressive domestic golf market is asking some big questions of the industry and leading organizations. The domestic plans to not only train up but also equip aspiring talent are a major step and CMAE is proud to be a partner and on-hand to provide the tools and analytic expertise.” 

The CEO of Golf Saudi, Majed Al-Sorour, said: “Our partnership with CMAE is incredibly important for Golf Saudi, but also for the golf industry at large. This is only possible if we are able to upskill our domestic workforce. Golf is good for business and can provide a direct boost to the Kingdom’s GDP, as well as providing lucrative jobs and creating new enterprise. These are exciting times for the golf industry in Saudi Arabia and this agreement with the CMAE helps us to develop a world-class training program that will support young Saudi adults in unlocking the full potential of their future career paths within the golf industry.”

Golf Saudi, a subsidiary of the Saudi Golf Federation, is committed to delivering a national development program that transforms the golfing landscape and aims to create 3,700 jobs by 2030.

Since its formation in 2018, Golf Saudi has embarked on an ambitious national golf strategy, which has worked to support the Kingdom’s impressive Vision 2030. This agreement recognizes the importance of training the next generation of Saudis to meet expected future demand, particularly from international tourists, enhancing Saudi Arabia as a golfing destination.