India on Friday withdrew its women’s badminton team from the upcoming Badminton Asia Championships due to fear of Coronavirus infection. The tournament is scheduled to be held in Manila, the Philippines from February 11 to 16. However, the men’s team will take part in the competition which will be held in Manila.
BAI secretary general Ajay Kumar Singhania said in a statement, “Unforeseen health hazard apprehension due to the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in withdrawal of the women’s team for the upcoming Badminton Asian Championships.”
BAI secretary general further said that BAI shared concerns about the current situation with Badminton Asia as to what precautionary measures are being taken. “After receiving complete assurances from BA, BAI had discussed the same with the Indian squad, the men’s team agreed to travel and confirmed their participation, however, the women’s team was withdrawn owing to concerns showed by parents and players,” Singhania said.
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) had announced the second-tier women’s team for the competition which was to be lead by young shuttlers Ashmita Chaliha and Malvika Bansod as ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal had decided to opt of the championship to focus on Olympic championship.
The men’s team had players like World Championship bronze medalist B Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Subhankar Dey and Lakshya Sen. The men’s doubles payer of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will also be seen in action at the championship.
It has been reported that the men’s team will fly to Manila to participate in the competition on February 9.
So far, 563 people have died in China due to this infection. It is believed that this infection started spreading from Wuhan city market in December. Wild animals are sold in that market. On the occasion of the New Year, this infection spread rapidly through those going from China to other places.