Breaking: Top shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Ashwini Ponappa among 7 to test Covid-19 positive at India Open 2022


Top Indian shuttlers including Kidambi Srikanth, Ashwini Ponappa, Ritika Thakkar, Treesa Jolly, Mithun Manjunath, Simran Singh and Khushi Gupta are among 7 to test Covid-19 positive at the ongoing India Open 2022 badminton tournament in New Delhi. Srikanth is currently world No. 10 in singles while Ashwini Ponappa is world No. 20 in women’s doubles and she is competing in the tournament with P. Sikki Reddy.

“Badminton World Federation (BWF) can confirm that seven players have been withdrawn from the India Open 2022 after testing positive for COVID-19. 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 Doubles partners deemed close contact of the seven players have also been withdrawn from the tournament,” a statement from the BWF read.

“The players will not be replaced in the main draw and their opponents will be given a walkover to the next round. Testing protocols have been implemented in accordance with Badminton World Federation and Badminton Association of India guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all participants,” the statement added.

Earlier, B Sai Praneeth, who won the 2019 World Championships bronze medal, on Sunday (January 9) pulled out of the season-opening India Open Super 500 tournament after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Yes, I have tested positive for COVID-19 in RT-PCR test. I had cold and cough since yesterday. I am isolating at home,” Praneeth told PTI.

“I will have to wait for at least a week before testing again. It is an important year and there is hardly any time to regain fitness. I hope I can get back to court quickly.”

The Round 2 matches of the Indian Open will commence on Thursday (January 13). The BWF have already confirmed that there will be no replacement allowed for these Indian shuttlers.

The entire England badminton contingent had also withdrawn ahead of the Super 500 event after the country’s doubles specialist Sean Vendy and coach Nathan Robertson tested positive for the virus.

Organised by the Badminton Association of India, the 2022 edition of India Open is being held behind closed doors at the Indira Gandhi Stadium’s KD Jadhav Indoor Hall. As per the COVID-19 protocols, all the participating players are being tested everyday at the hotel and outside the stadium.

Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, World Championships silver and bronze medallists Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, London Games bronze winner Saina Nehwal are among the Indian players who have reached the second round of the tournament.

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