Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy cleared to play hours after testing optimistic

Bangkok, January 12

Indian badminton stars Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy today tested negative for Covid-19 hours after returning positive results, paving the way for their participation in the Thailand Open after being forced out of the tournament.

Both the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of India (BAI) confirmed the development.

PV Sindhu

“Both Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have been cleared to participate in the ongoing Yonex Thailand Open after the fourth-round tests reports confirmed that both shuttlers have been tested negative for COVID-19,” BAI said in a statement, adding: “BAI have taken up the matter with topmost BWF officials to ensure if tests were negative, matches for respective players should be rescheduled and no walkover is given.”

Earlier in the day, chaos gripped India’s campaign at the tournament when Saina was forced out following a positive Covid-19 test, while Prannoy’s participation hung in balance after his sample came out negative following a positive result in a bizarre turn of events.

“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 got to hospital in Bangkok… Saying that I’m positive. According to rules the report should come in 5 hours,” Saina wrote on Twitter earlier in the day.

After the negative test result, she said she is looking forward to her rescheduled match tomorrow. — Agencies

Srikanth’s nose bleeds after tests

Former world No. 1 shuttler Kidambi Srikanth got a bloodied nose after undergoing multiple Covid-19 tests. Miffed at the poor treatment by the health officials at the Thailand Open, the Indian today called it “unacceptable”. “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,” an upset Srikanth wrote on his Twitter handle. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said it is awaiting a medical 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 Badminton Association of Thailand and the Department of Disease Control as to the reasoning for the occurrence,” a BWF official told PTI.

Sindhu, Praneeth lose on return

World champion PV Sindhu (in pic) suffered a shock defeat on her return to international badminton, losing in three games to Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the opening round of the Thailand Open Super 1000 event here today. World No. 18 Blichfeldt fought back after losing the first game to beat sixth seed Sindhu 16-21 26-24 21-13 in a 74-minute battle.

In men’s singles, world No. 13 B Sai Praneeth suffered a straight-game loss to Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen. Praneeth went down 21-16 21-10 to world No. 15 Wangcharoen.

Earlier in the day, the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa claimed a 21-11 27-29 21-16 win over the Indonesian pair of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Widjaja. However, the women’s doubles pair of Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost 21-16 21-7 to the fourth-seeded South Korean pair of Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong. PTI

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