Badminton-BWF approves synthetic feather shuttlecocks from 2021

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Badminton World Federation (BWF) said on Monday it has approved synthetic feather shuttlecocks for its international tournaments from next year as it bids to cut down on waste.

The governing body said it collaborated with Japanese sports equipment manufacturer Yonex to develop the synthetic version, which was used at three BWF-sanctioned international tournaments last year.

"Feedback indicated that the Yonex synthetic feather shuttle was more durable and economical compared to a traditional natural feathered shuttle, whilst at the same time providing a very similar flight and performance," it said in a statement.

"...the synthetic feather shuttle could reduce shuttlecock usage up to 25%, providing a significant environmental and economic edge for badminton going forward."

Elite shuttlers involved in the testing quickly adjusted to the variance, BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said.

"The vision is to ensure the long-term sustainability of badminton and become less dependent of using natural feathers for shuttlecocks," Lund added.

BWF said it was updating technical guidelines and that manufacturers could seek approval for their versions of synthetic feather shuttlecocks to be used in international competitions.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)

((amlan.chakraborty@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @Amlan_Reuters))

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