Badminton boss vows 'highest level' competition at Tokyo Games

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The Yoyogi National Stadium will host handball, badminton and wheelchair rugby in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
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Badminton's top official vowed Thursday the "highest level" of the sport would be played at the Tokyo Olympics despite the challenges of holding the Games during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympics, delayed from last year due to the virus, will take place under strict rules, with overseas fans banned and local spectators limited.

Like most sports, badminton was thrown into disarray due to Covid-19 with a string of tournaments axed, including some that were qualifying events for the Games.

But Badminton World Federation (BWF) Secretary General Thomas Lund said there had not been any "major declines of invitations" by countries to participate in badminton at the Olympics.

He said the BWF had "absolutely no concerns" about the quality of the competition at the Games.

"It will be a fantastic competition with the highest level of players," he told a virtual press conference.

The list of participants in the badminton tournament will be released on Monday, he added.

Lund said the rules to protect against the virus would create a "very secure environment" but insisted this would not hinder the competition.

He said the measures will be similar to those implemented at badminton tournaments already staged earlier this year.

"I think we are well prepared," he said.

The Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony takes place on July 23.

Japan has experienced a relatively small virus outbreak but infections are rising in the capital and some curbs are expected to be extended, possibly into the Games.

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