Over the last few weeks, India has seen a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. Despite vaccination drives being conducted, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the country by storm. Thus, it has impacted the India open as well.
In what comes as shocking news, several Indian players, namely Kidambi Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa, Ritika Thakar, Treesa Jolly, Mithun Manjunath, Simran Singhi and Khushi Gupta have have withdrawn from the event after testing positive. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) released a statement to convey the same.
The world governing body also stated that the doubling partners, who were close to the players who tested positive, have been withdrawn from the tournament. They also mentioned that there won’t be any replacements in the main draw, and their opponents will be given a walkover to the next round.
“The players returned a positive result to a mandatory RT-PCR test conducted on Tuesday. Doubles partners deemed close contact of the seven players have also been withdrawn from the tournament. The players will not be replaced in the main draw and their opponents will be given a walkover to the next round,” read the statement by BWF.
Besides, Sai Praneeth, the 2019 world championship bronze medallist, double specialists Manu Attri and Dhruv Rawat had unfortunately tested positive for the virus ahead of their departure, and had pulled out of the tournament. It is to be noted that the entire English badminton contingent had pulled out of the tournament as well.
This was done after the doubles specialist Sean Vendy and coach Nathan Robertson tested positive for COVID-19. Nevertheless, the India open, which is organized by the Badminton Association of India, is all set to be played behind closed doors at the Indira Gandhi Stadium’s KD Jadhav Indoor Hall.