Kidambi Srikanth and Ashwini Ponappa, the top shuttlers test Covid-19 positive at 2022 India Open
Seven Indian shuttlers tested positive for COVID-19 at the present India Open 2022 event in New Delhi: Badminton Association of India
Kidambi Srikanth, Ashwini Ponappa, Ritika Rahul Thkar, Treesa Jolly, Mithun Manjunath, Simran Singhi, and Khushi Gupta are among the seven Indian shuttlers who have tested positive for Covid-19 at the ongoing India Open 2022 badminton competition in New Delhi. Srikanth is ranked No. 10 in the world in singles, while Ashwini Ponappa is ranked No. 20 in women's doubles and is competing with P. Sikki Reddy at the competition.
"Badminton World Federation (BWF) can confirm that seven players have been withdrawn from the India Open 2022 after testing positive for COVID-19.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 Doubles partners deemed close contact of the seven players have also been withdrawn from the tournament," a statement from the BWF read.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.
B Sai Praneeth, the 2019 World Championships bronze medalist, withdrew from the season-opening India Open Super 500 tournament on Sunday (January 9) 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 Indian Open's Round 2 matches will begin on Thursday (January 13). The BWF has already said that no replacements will be permitted for these Indian shuttlers.
After the country's doubles specialist Sean Vendy and coach Nathan Robertson tested positive for the illness, the whole England badminton contingent withdrew ahead of the Super 500 event.
The 2022 edition of the India Open is being held behind closed doors at the Indira Gandhi Stadium's KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, and is being organised by the Badminton Association of India. All of the players are tested every day at the hotel and outside the stadium, according to the COVID-19 guidelines.
PV Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medalist, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, and Saina Nehwal, a bronze medalist at the London Olympics, are among the Indian players who have advanced to the second round of the championship.