With the coronavirus (COVID-19) playing havoc which has led to the massive lockdown throughout the world and forcing major sporting events either canceled or postponed there is a possibility that India’s P.V. Sindhu’s reign women’s singles world champion extended.

The lanky 24-year-old Sindhu became the first Indian to win a world title and this was in 2019 when she defeated Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in a one-sided final at the 2019 World Championships in Basel, Switzerland on August 25, 2019.

It is a date she will remember for the rest of her life she achieved the win on her mother’s birthday and it was the best birthday gift for her.

At the same championships, Japan’s Kento Momota retained his word title with a 21-9, 21-3 win over Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in the final.

For Sindhu, winning the world title in Basel wiped out the heartbreaking defeat in the 2017 world championships in Glasgow, Scotland. It is described as an epic final with Okuhara snatching a 21-19, 20-22, 22-20 win in one hour 50 minutes.

Sindhu also won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. She lost to Spain’s Carolina Marin 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 in the gold medal match.

The world championships are an annual event but it is not played in the Olympic year. However, with this year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed to next year (July 23-Aug 8, 2021) due to COVID-19 it is likely next year’s world championships could only be played in 2022.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has put on hold many international tournaments with come canceled this year. The last tournament played was the Yonex All-England Championships in Birmingham in March.

There is a strong possibility next year’s World Championships will not find a slot in the tight BWF calendar next year because of the Tokyo Olympics. RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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