After a poor run in the Yonex Thailand Open, things had just started sailing smoothly for the Indian team in the ongoing Toyota Thailand Open. After an incredible play on day 1, a major blow hit the national contingent. Ace shuttler Sai Praneeth tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew from the Super 1000 tournament, BWF said. His roommate Kidambi Srikanth has also been forced to pull out of the contest despite testing negative, the world body confirmed.
“The player (Praneeth) has been taken to hospital for further observation and testing, and is required to stay in hospital for a minimum of 10 days. BWF can also confirm Sai Praneeth B. had been rooming with teammate Kidambi Srikanth at the official hotel. In line with BWF protocols, Kidambi has been withdrawn from the TOYOTA Thailand Open and is in strict self-quarantine. However, Kidambi tested negative on Monday’s test and has returned negative results since arriving in Thailand,” BWF said in a statement.
The world body, however, confirmed that all the other Indian players will be allowed to continue playing their matches in the 2nd event of the Asian leg of the tour. “All other players and personnel involved in the TOYOTA Thailand Open, including all Team India players and entourage, returned negative results following Monday’s mandatory round of PCR testing. Thai health authorities have cleared India players to continue competing in the tournament upon producing a negative test result each day,” the statement added.
BAI in touch with the concerned players as well as BWF and team management in Thailand
Sai Praneeth was slated to clash against Daren Liew of Malaysia on Wednesday. Kidambi Srikanth had cruised into the second round with a straight game victory against Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin on Tuesday.
BAI said on Wednesday that the national body is in touch with the concerned players, BWF and the team management in Thailand. “BAI is in touch with the players concerned as well as with BWF and team management in Thailand,” BAI took to social media to announce.
Notably before the start of the first leg of Thailand Open, Indian players Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy had tested positive for the virus. They had withdrawn from the tournament, and Nehwal’s roommate and husband Parupalli Kashyap was also kept under observation. But later on, all the shuttlers were allowed to play after it emerged that the positive tests were false.