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Mixed fortunes for landmark badminton and table tennis events 

BANGKOK, THAILAND - MAY 27: Thomas Cup trophy is displayed during the Thomas Cup Final match on day eight of the BWF Thomas & Uber Cup at Impact Arena on May 27, 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

Badminton’s 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup is facing fresh doubts on whether it will go ahead.

Meanwhile, the International Table Tennis Federation, in cooperation with the Korea Table Tennis Association, has agreed on new provisional dates for the Hana Bank 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Busan, Korea Republic.

The Thomas and Uber Cup, which comprises badminton’s twinned biennial men’s and women’s team World Championships, was rescheduled from earlier this year to be held on August 15-23 in Denmark’s second-largest city Aarhus. However, the Danish government has now issued a directive extending a ban on larger gatherings of people until the end of August.

In a press release, the Badminton World Federation, together with Badminton Denmark,  said they are awaiting clarification from authorities on the definition of “larger gatherings”.

The championship is scheduled to take place at the Ceres Arena. It is to be the first time that Denmark plays host to it, and the first time the event is to be held in Europe since 1982.

There are a number of scenarios to consider, but the health, safety and well-being of athletes, their entourages, officials and the greater badminton community are the top priorities, the BWF said in its statement.

China is the defending men’s champion, and Japan the defending women’s champion.

Turning to table tennis, the Hana Bank 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships were among the many ITTF events to be postponed this year due to Covid-19.

Originally due to take place between on March 22-29, new conditional dates of September 27-October 4 have been agreed for the tournament.

Should the pandemic continue, other optional dates to stage the championships have been earmarked if necessary, the federation said in a press release. As with other major sporting events, the ITTF and KTTA said they will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation, with the priority being the health and safety of players, coaches, fans and officials.

In an announcement on their website the ITTF revealed the Executive Committee was looking into means of saving overall costs. As a result the Executive Committee agreed to reduce their expenses and senior staff have offered to take salary reductions.