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BAI postpones India Open 2021 amid spike in COVID-19 cases

It was earlier decided that India Open 2021 will be played behind closed doors.

India Open Super 500

An unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases in India prompted the Badminton Association of India (BAI) to postpone India Open 2021. The Super 500 tournament, one of the last three qualifying events for the Tokyo Olympics, was scheduled for 11-16 May 2021. The pandemic has seen numerous tournaments get called off lately.

BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania informs that all efforts to go ahead with the tournament was made by the organisers. But the ever-deteriorating situation in the country prompted them to take the decision. The decision was made in consultation and collaboration with local health authorities in Delhi and the Badminton World Federation.

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Considering the current challenges, BAI is left with no option but to announce the postponement of the tournament for the time being,” Singhania said at a virtual press conference.

Several rounds of discussions were held with BWF as well as the Delhi government and other stakeholders and accessing the safety of players and officials BAI needed to take this decision.

Yonex-Sunrise India Open seems for now a very risky affair,” Ajay Singhania

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and BAI General Secretary Mr. Ajay Singhania

India has reported 2,73,810 new positive cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day surge taking the country’s caseload past the 1.5 crore mark. As many as 1,619 people have succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours. With Delhi emerging as the worst-hit city with 25,462 cases reported in the last 24-hours, the decision seems to be the best course of action.

We had an entry of 228 players and close to 300 peoples gathering including coaches, support staff and officials and the circumstances are such that the 2021 edition of Yonex-Sunrise India Open seems for now a very risky affair,” Singhania said.

The pandemic had led to the cancellation of the previous edition of the Indian Open after being postponed initially. Syed Modi Super 300 event, which was slated for November 17 to 22, was also cancelled in the revised calendar.

This news has come as a blow to the likes of Srikanth Kidambi who now see their hopes of making it to the Tokyo Olympics dwindle. “It’s still not over for me, though. If I can manage a semifinal finish in Malaysia and a quarterfinal in Singapore, that’ll be good for my qualification chances. Of course, that’s assuming these competitions will take place at all,” Kidambi told ESPN.

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