China will host its first international badminton tournament since 2019, the season-ending World Tour Finals in December, the sport’s governing body said.
The Badminton World Federation canceled two events in China but said its flagship $1.5 million final would be held in Guangzhou from December 14-18.
China has canceled nearly all international sporting events since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2019, with the Beijing Winter Olympics in February and the ongoing World Table Tennis Championships in Chengdu being the rare exceptions this year.
The Winter Olympics were held under strict “closed loop” to prevent the coronavirus, and the BWF did not immediately say whether the finals in Guangzhou would also be held in a “bubble”.
The table tennis event begins on Friday with a “closed circuit” as part of the country’s strict “zero Covid” policy.
December’s World Tour Finals will feature the top eight players and pairs in each category for their share of what the BWF called “the biggest prize pool badminton has ever seen”.
“We remain confident that our hosts will deliver an impressive final event with the highest standards of player safety and comfort,” said BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund.
South Guangzhou also hosted the Finals in 2018 and 2019.