The 2020 World Junior Championships have been postponed until January 2021 ©Getty Images

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has moved the 2020 World Junior Championships back by four months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It means the event, to be held in New Zealand's biggest city Auckland, is now scheduled to take place in January 2021. 

The new dates for the World Junior Mixed Team Championships are January 11 to 16, while the World Junior Championships are scheduled for January 18 to 24.

Although New Zealand has been widely praised for its response to the coronavirus pandemic, with no new cases for a week and only 22 deaths recorded, the BWF said this decision gave organisers a better chance to stage a successful event.

It also allows time for travel restrictions to be lifted as anyone entering New Zealand at present must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and only residents and citizens are likely to be permitted to enter the country.

"With all things considered, we believe the move is the best option in order to avoid any possible complexities linked to travel and other lingering COVID-19-related impacts," BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said.

"We look forward to working with Badminton New Zealand to put on a great show in Auckland."

Auckland remains the venue for the next edition of the World Junior Championships ©Getty Images
Auckland remains the venue for the next edition of the World Junior Championships ©Getty Images

Badminton New Zealand chief executive Joe Hitchcock echoed those thoughts, saying the organisation will "work closely with the BWF and our event partners on plans for a rescheduled event".

"And we fully understand that we are guided by New Zealand Government regulations and international border control measures," Hitchcock added.

"When the time is right, we will welcome the world’s best young badminton talent to Auckland because we know that teams travelling to New Zealand will have the experience of a lifetime, and the event with leave a lasting positive legacy."

Auckland last hosted the under-19 event in 2007.

The 2021 edition of the BWF's World Junior Championships are due to be held in China in October, with a host city yet to be announced.