Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: The ongoing Yonex-Sunrise India Open Badminton tournament was thrown into turmoil on Thursday morning when it was confirmed that eight players have withdrawn from the competition, seven including top seed and title contender K.Srikanth, having tested positive for Covid-19 and sixth seed Sameer Verma because of a calf strain .
Apart from Srikanth others who have tested positive are Mithun Manjunath, doubles specialist Ashwini Poonappa, Treesa Jolly,Ritika Rahul Thaker, Simran Aman Singhi and Khushi Gupta
“The players returned a positive result to a mandatory RT-PCR test conducted on Tuesday. Doubles Doubles partner deemed close contact of the seven players have also been withdrawn from the tournament”, Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement.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 BWF BWF and Badminton Association and Badminton Association of India (BAI) guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
Mithun Manjunath had beaten France’s Arnaud Merkle in three games in his opening round and was schedule to play HS Prannoy in next round
There was another bad news for the organisers with Sixth seed Sameer Verma who was to face Canada’s Brian Yang in his second round fixture pulled out of the competition having suffered a calf strain.
Before the start of the tournament, Olympian B.Sai Praneeth and double specialists Manu Attri and Dhruv Rawat had tested positive for this virus and had to pull out of the competition
The entire England badminton squad had opted out of the Indian Open after their doubles specialists Sean Vendy and Coach Nathan Robertson tested positive.
Round two of the tournament commences today.