A maximum of four men’s and four women’s singles places for the badminton tournaments at Rio 2016 can be granted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Tripartite Commission, including one to the host nation, the sport’s governing body has confirmed to its members.
The IOC have until May 11 to decide how they will allocate the three tripartite places for each gender, usually given to smaller countries who have not qualified through the conventional process.
As the host country, Brazil will also be entitled to one place in each competition unless they have already booked their place at Rio 2016 by right.
Currently, the top 34 athletes for both genders will compete at this year’s Olympics, while those placed in positions 35 to 38 on the rankings face an agonising wait to see if they have done enough to qualify.
If there are players in more than one event, for example men’s and mixed doubles, this may add more places to singles, according to the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
The BWF World Ranking list as of May 5 will be used to determine the participants in the Olympic tournaments.
The BWF have called on its members to communicate the information to their players in order to avoid confusion about whether or not they have qualified.
“For comparison, in London there were 40 men’s singles and 46 women’s singles positions, but there will likely be less positions in singles during the upcoming qualification process,” a statement sent to the 183 Member Associations read.
“As none of the Tripartite Commission or Host Country positions has been confirmed at this time, the Race to Rio rankings should be viewed as having a minimum of 34 available slots allocated.
“Players who are presently shown in qualification positions 35 to 38 are therefore subject to confirmation of the final number of Tripartite Commission and Host Country positions, and also subject to more places being added if players qualify in more than one event.
“Although this has long been part of the regulations and there is a note to this effect on the rankings, we have had reports that some players do not realise the implication of the tripartite and host places and may believe they are in qualifying positions when this is not the case.”
One athlete who will not represent his country at Rio 2016 is Japan’s Kento Momota, considered a hot Olympic medal prospect, after he was handed an indefinite suspension by the Nippon Badminton Association for gambling at an illegal casino.