New Delhi: The India Open badminton tournament has come under the grip of Corona infection when seven Indian players, including World Championship silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth, withdrew after being found positive. The World Badminton Federation made the announcement in the early hours after which the Badminton Federation of India revealed the names.
Apart from Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa, Ritika Rahul Thakar, Trisha Jolly, Mithun Manjunath, Simran Aman Singh and Khushi Gupta have also been found infected. BWF said in a statement, “These players were found positive in the mandatory RT PCR test conducted on Thursday. Their duet partners also withdrew due to being in close contact. It said, “Other players in their place will not be included in the main draw.” Their opponents will get a walkover in the next round.”
N Sikki Reddy, Dhruv Kapila, Gayatri Gopichand, Akshan Shetty and Kavya Gupta also had to withdraw from the tournament although they were not positive but were in close contact. Sikki is partnering Ashwini in the women’s doubles while Dhruv plays with Sikki in the mixed doubles. Akshon and Simran are the mixed doubles partners while Kavya and Khushi are the women’s doubles partners. Earlier, 2019 World Championship bronze medalist B Sai Praneeth, doubles specialists Manu Attri and Dhruv Rawat withdrew after being infected before leaving for Delhi.
The entire England squad withdrew after doubles specialist Sean Wendy and coach Nathan Robertson tested positive. 2022 India Open organized by Badminton Association of India is being played at KD Jadhav Indoor Hall without spectators at Indira Gandhi Stadium. All the competitive players are being screened daily under the Corona Protocol.
Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu, World Championship silver and bronze medalist Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, London Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal advanced to the second round. On Wednesday, 27561 new cases of corona have been reported in Delhi and 40 people have died. (agency)