Hyderabad: The Thailand Open, which is the season opener for badminton, turned out to be a nightmare for the Indian contingent. On a day of high drama, Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy’s test results returned positive in the morning, forcing the BAI to announce that the three players, including Parupalli Kashyap because of his close proximity with Saina, withdrawing from the tournament. Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth complained of rough handling of players while testing that left him with a bloodied nose.
After a 10-hour ordeal, Saina and Prannoy were given a go ahead to participate in the tournament, resulting in chaos in the tournament schedule. While Prannoy’s tests returned negative, Saina tested positive for the antibodies.
“Both Saina and Prannoy have been cleared to participate in the ongoing Thailand Open after the fourth round of test reports confirmed that both shuttlers have been tested negative for Covid-19. BAI has taken up the matter with BWF officials to ensure if tests were negative, matches for respective players should be rescheduled and no walkover is given. After continuous efforts from BAI including doctors being sent immediately when Kidambi Srikanth started bleeding were taken up,” BAI said in a statement.
BAI also confirmed that both Saina and Prannoy will play their matches on Wednesday, Kashyap’s participation will depend on the result of his test conducted in the afternoon. In a clear case of mismanagement by the BWF and the Thailand Open officials, the confusion led to an embarrassment of sorts for the first tournament after the pandemic-forced hiatus.
Meanwhile, Srikanth took to Twitter complaining about the handling of players while testing them. He posted a series of pictures where he was seen with a bleeding nose after the Covid test. “We take care of ourselves for the match not to come and shed blood for THIS. However, I gave 4 tests after I have arrived and I can’t say any of them have been pleasant .
Unacceptable,” he wrote on Twitter. The BWF said Srikanth is being attended by a doctor and it is awaiting explanation. “A doctor from the Department of Disease Control and the Covid-19 testing team is attending to Srikanth Kidambi. BWF is still awaiting a medical explanation from the Badminton Association of Thailand and the Department of Disease Control as to the reasoning for the occurrence,” an official said.
Earlier, Saina was set for warm-up ahead of her match but she was informed by the officials that her results came positive. Saina revealed that she didn’t get her test report yet and without any clarity, she was asked to withdraw from the tournament.
“I still didn’t receive the Covid test report from yesterday it’s very confusing and today just before the warm up for the match they tell me to go to hospital in Bangkok … saying that I m positive ..according to rules the report should come in 5 hours.. @bwfmedia,” she wrote on Twitter.
Saina and Kashyap had tested positive for the virus in the mid-December but recovered before departing for the Thailand Open.
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