Star Indian shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Ashwini Ponappa are among the seven players to have withdrawn from the ongoing India Open 2022 after testing positive for COVID-19, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) confirmed in the wee hours on Thursday. (More Badminton News)
The players returned a positive result to a mandatory RT-PCR test conducted on Tuesday. The other five players are Ritika Rahul Thaker, Treesa Jolly, Mithun Manjunath, Simran Aman Singhi and Khushi Gupta.
“Badminton World Federation (BWF) can confirm that seven players have been withdrawn from the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2022 after testing positive for COVID-19,” BWF and Badminton Association of India (BAI) said in a joint statement.
“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 further read.
Srikanth, who had a winning start on an opening day was about to face Danish Kim Bruun in his second-round match. The withdrawal of Mithun means his compatriot HS Prannoy will get a walkover and sail into the quarterfinals.
Prannoy, who defeated Spaniard Pablo Abian on Wednesday, will face the winner between Lakshya Sen and Felix Burestedt. Unfortunately, N Sikki Reddy, Gayatri Gopichand Pullela and Kavya Gupta also had to withdraw from the tournament after being deemed as close contacts of their women’s doubles partners.
While Sikki Reddy paired up with Ponappa, Kavya partnered Khusi. Gayatri, daughter of India’s current chief coach Pullela Gopichand, had paired up with Treesa. Ritika Rahul Thaker and Simran Singhi constituted a pair.
Earlier, B Sai Praneeth and Dhruv Rawat had withdrawn from India Open 2022 after the two tested positive for COVID-19. The entire England team pulled out of the event prior to the start of the tournament after Three Lions’ doubles specialist Sean Vendy and coach Nathan Robertson tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, in a recent development, BAI confirmed that Indian shuttler Sameer Verma was forced to withdraw from the India Open 2022 due to a calf strain injury.