Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy in Action after Negative Covid-19 Test

In men’s doubles, M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will face the Malaysian team of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, while Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy begin their title defence against South Korean opponents Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced later on Tuesday that Saina and Prannoy could compete, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) said that “Kashyap’s participation will depend on result of his test”, conducted on Tuesday afternoon.

Apart from the Indian trio, Germany’s Jones Ralfy Jansen and Egypt’s Adham Hatem Elgamal had also tested positive after the Monday tests. While Jansen’s decision too has been reversed and he can now compete, Elgamal has been forced to withdraw as his antibody test was negative, said BWF.

All three players will play their rescheduled first-round match on Wednesday.

“Nehwal, Prannoy and Jansen tested positive on the PCR test but their antibody IgG was positive. A positive antibody test means a person has been infected with the Covid-19 virus at some point in the past. It does not mean they are currently infected. The trio all contracted Covid-19 in late 2020. The committee was satisfied that they are not infected and do not pose a danger to the tournament,” said the BWF statement.

Saina and Prannoy had earlier been forced to withdraw from the tournament after they tested positive for Covid-19 tests that were conducted on Monday. Kashyap, husband of Saina, also had to withdraw as he was sharing a room with Saina and was asked to self-quarantine.

Hours after making the announcement of the three players having to withdraw on Tuesday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said that Sain and Prannoy had been tested a second time and produced positive results. However, a working group of six doctors that has been formed for the tournament by the Thailand government had determined that the pair were not currently “not infected and do not pose a danger to the tournament”.

P V Sindhu suffered a shock defeat on her return to international badminton, losing in three games to Denmark”s Mia Blichfeldt in the opening round of YONEX Thailand Open Super 1000 event here on Tuesday.

Months after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the international calendar, Sindhu, seeded sixth, returned to action with a 21-16 24-26 13-21 defeat to world no 18 Blichfeldt in a 74-minute battle.

The loss ended India”s campaign in women”s singles as the other contender Saina Nehwal was forced out after testing positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the tournament.

In men”s singles, world No. 13 B Sai Praneeth too suffered a straight game loss to Thailand”s Kantaphon Wangcharoen on his return to competition.

Praneeth went down 16-21 10-21 to the world No. 15 Wangcharoen for only his second loss to the Thailand player.

The Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwik and Ashwini claimed a 21-11, 27-29, 21-16 win over the Indonesian pair of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Widjaja.┬áThe women’s doubles pair of Ashwini and N Sikki Reddy lost 16-21 7-21 to fourth seeded Korean pair of Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong.

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