Thailand Open Super 1000: Sai Praneeth out after positive COVID-19 test, roommate Kidambi Srikanth forced to pull out
Kidambi Srikanth had defeated Thailand's Sitthikom Thammasin 21-11 21-11 on Tuesday.
Bangkok: Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth, one of the frontrunners to represent country at the Tokyo Olympics, has pulled out of the ongoing Toyota Thailand Open Super 1000 tournament after testing positive for COVID-19 .
Former world number one Kidambi Srikanth, who was sharing the room with Praneeth, was also forced to withdraw as per protocols laid down by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
"Badminton World Federation (BWF) can confirm India player Sai Praneeth B has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been withdrawn from the TOYOTA Thailand Open," the governing body said in a statement on Tuesday night.
"The player produced a positive result to a mandatory PCR test conducted on Monday. It is confirmed positive.
"The player has been taken to hospital for further observation and testing, and is required to stay in hospital for a minimum of 10 days."
BWF said Praneeth had been "rooming with teammate Kidambi Srikanth at the official hotel" and so he too had to withdraw from the tournament.
Srikanth had defeated Thailand's Sitthikom Thammasin 21-11 21-11 on Tuesday. The world number 14 had withdrawn from last week's event ahead of his second round after pulling a calf muscle.
"In line with BWF protocols, Kidambi has been withdrawn from the TOYOTA Thailand Open and is in strict self-quarantine," BWF said.
"However, Kidambi tested negative on Monday's test and has returned negative results since arriving in Thailand."
All other Indian players have tested negative following Monday's mandatory round of PCR testing and were cleared to continue competing in the tournament upon producing a negative test result each day.
However, Thai health authorities, Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) and BWF, restricted "the movement and schedule of the rest of the India team as per tournament protocol," which will be in place for 14 days till February 1.
Last week, Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy had returned positive for COVID-19 results initially but were later cleared to compete in the Yonex Thailand Open after they tested negative in a fresh round of testing.
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The remaining restrictions are meant to maintain low levels of infections and prevent super-spreading events, he said.
Swiss Open: PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth through to round of 16; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty win
While world champion Sindhu beat Yigit Neslihan of Turkey 21-16, 21-19 in her first-round match that lasted 42 minutes, Srikanth staved off a spirited challenge from compatriot Sameer Verma to make a winning start to his campaign.
World champion PV Sindhu hardly broke any sweat, beating USA's Iris Wang 21-13 21-14 in the women's singles competition, while former world no 1 Srikanth notched up a 21-10, 14-21, 21-14 victory over World No 50 Thomas Rouxel of France and Jayaram eked out a hard-fought 21-18, 17-21, 21-13 against third-seeded Dane Rasmus Gemke in their respective men's singles second-round matches.