Badminton: Seven out of India Open with Covid-19, Loh Kean Yew and fellow S'poreans not affected

Top Indian player Sai Praneeth is one of those who withdrew from the India Open. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Seven players have withdrawn from the ongoing India Open badminton championship in New Delhi after testing positive for Covid-19, organisers said on Thursday (Jan 13).

Top Indian player Sai Praneeth and doubles specialist Dhruv Rawat are among those out of the tournament, the Badminton Association of India said, and media reported that at least two other local players are also out.

Doubles partners deemed close contacts of the seven have also been withdrawn from the tournament which runs until Sunday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said.

"The players will not be replaced in the main draw and their opponents will be given a walkover to the next round," it said in a statement.

The event originally meant to feature 219 players from 19 countries is being held behind closed doors because of the pandemic and was already missing a number of star names.

Singapore is represented by reigning men's singles world champion Loh Kean Yew, Yeo Jia Min in the women's singles, men's doubles pair Terry Hee and Loh's brother Kean Hean plus mixed doubles duo Hee and Tan Wei Han.

India is currently experiencing a sharp rise in infections driven by the new Omicron variant.

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