India Open: K Srikanth, 6 other players pull out after testing positive for Covid-19

COVID-19 pandemic rocked the India Open tournament today, with as many as seven Indian shuttlers, including reigning world championship silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth, withdrawing after testing positive for the virus.

This was announced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in the early morning which was later confirmed by the Badminton Association of India (BAI).

Ashwini Ponnappa, Treesa Jolly, Ritika Rahul Thkar, Simran Aman Singh Mithun Manjunath, and Khushi Gupta are among the players who are affected by the virus.

A mandatory RT-PCR test conducted on Tuesday resulted in a positive result for the players.

According to the world governing body, the seven players’ doubles partners who were deemed to be in direct contact with each other have also withdrawn from the tournament.

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As per the BWF, the players will not be replaced in the main draw, and their opponents will receive a walkover to the following round.

Previously, Dhruv Rawat, B Sai Praneeth, and Manu Attri had tested positive for the virus before their departure for the national capital which leading to their withdrawal even before the tourney began.

The 2022 edition of the India Open tournament, organised by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) is being held behind closed doors at the Indira Gandhi Stadium’s KD Jadhav Indoor Hall.

Every day, all of the participating players are being tested at the hotel and outside the stadium following the COVID-19 protocols.

P V Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, and London Games bronze medalist Saina Nehwal are among the Indian players who have reached the tournament’s second round.

Three-time men’s double world champion Mohammad Ahsan, World champion Loh Kean Yew, and Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan are among the top international stars competing in the tournament, which is being held for the first time in three years after the previous two editions were cancelled due to the pandemic.