Coronavirus: Enhanced precautionary measures in place for star-studded Singapore badminton Open https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/...ures-in-place-for-star-studded-singapore-open Singapore will be sending in a 22-strong contingent, with Loh Kean Yew (above) and Yeo Jia Min looking to secure their Tokyo berths.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO Published Mar 2, 2020, 7:49 pm SGT Lorraine Lai SINGAPORE - While the coronavirus outbreak has led to numerous high-profile sporting events in Singapore being postponed or cancelled, the Singapore Open is still scheduled to take place from April 7-10. There will be enhanced precautionary measures in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where the world's top shuttlers will converge. Almost all the players in the world's top 10 across the five categories - men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles - will be in the Republic. World No. 1 Kento Momota is a rare big-name absentee. The Japanese sustained injuries from a car accident in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year and will not be present to defend his men's singles title. Prominent shuttlers participating include 2016 Rio Olympics Gold champion Chen Long and India's first badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu. Organised by the Singapore Badminton Association, the US$408,000 (S$566,785) Singapore Open is part of the BWF World Tour and is a Super 500 (Level 4) event. It is also the last stop in the qualifying window for this year's Olympics and as such, is seen as a key event for the top shuttlers to challenge for points and a ticket to Tokyo 2020. With several other Olympic qualifiers cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus, the Singapore Open has become even more important to the shuttlers. This week's German Open has been cancelled while an Olympic qualifier in Vietnam was postponed from March to June. The China Masters and Polish Open have also been postponed and dropped from the Olympics qualifying process. Former world No. 1 Sindhu, a silver medallist in Rio behind Spain's Carolina Marin, said: "One gold medal is missing, so definitely I will work hard for that." Singapore will be sending in a 22-strong contingent, with Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jia Min looking to secure their Tokyo berths. Related Story Badminton: Olympic champion Chen Long leads strong Chinese contingent at Singapore Open World No. 40 Loh said: "It's crucial to get as much experience under my belt as possible and learning to deal with high pressure situations. "I look forward to competing in front of the home crowd at the Singapore Badminton Open this April and with their support, I hope to go as far as possible in the tournament." Organisers will be implementing enhanced precautionary measures to ensure the safety of players, spectators and event personnel amid the Covid-19 outbreak. This includes temperature checks, increased frequency of disinfecting the venue space and common areas, as well allocation of seats to minimise contact between spectators. The Singapore Badminton Open press conference will be a closed-door event. Robert Lim, organising chairman of the Singapore Badminton Open 2020 said: "With the world in the grip of this relentless coronavirus, our prime priority is the well-being of the players, our spectators, our event personnel and, of course, Singapore. While we are excited to have the world's best players competing at this year's Singapore Open, we are determinedly focused on having all precautionary measures in place. "We are confident of presenting a safe, anxiety-free and exhilarating edition of the Singapore Open." Sports fans in Singapore have already seen a couple of marquee events here cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Football's International Champions Cup and golf's HSBC Women's World Championship have been called off. The Singapore Rugby Sevens in April has been pushed back to October.