Saina Nehwal and H S Prannoy cleared to play Thailand Open after tested negative for COVID-19

Saina Nehwal and H S Prannoy

Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have been cleared to play for Thailand Open after tested negative for COVID-19.  The result was conducted in response to previous positive results that forced them out of the tournament hours earlier on a chaotic Tuesday.

The news was shared by Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of India (BAI) sharing about the Indian shuttlers in detail.

Saina Nehwal and H S Prannoy

“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.

However Badminton Association of India clarified that the test was conducted immediately after taking up the matter to BWF.

“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,” BAI added.

Also when it was reported Parupali Kashyap too was forced to withdraw his name from the tournament after his wife was tested positive for COVID-19. As PV Sindhu and Sai Praneeth lost the first round of Thailand Open but ended on a better note for the Indians following the two shuttlers’ clearance.

“Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) can confirm three of the four players who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier today at the Asian Leg of the HSBC BWF World Tour have been cleared to take their place in the draw,” the apex body said.

“They are confirmed as Saina Nehwal (India), HS Prannoy (India), and Jones Ralfy Jansen (Germany),” BWF added in its statement.

“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.” Saina and Prannoy had recovered from COVID-19 last month and along with the Indian team had been looking to participate in the Asia leg events comprising the Thailand Open (January 12-17), TOYOTA Thailand Open (January 19-24) and the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 (January 27-31).

In its statement, BAI added, “After continuous efforts from BAI including doctors being sent immediately when Kidambi Srikanth started bleeding were taken up. BWF and Badminton Thailand were cooperative and BAI thank all the stakeholders for their support including the tournament organisers.

However Indian badminton players are expected to bring medals for the upcoming Olympics 2021. Indian badminton has taken an amazing transformation and the credit should be given to Badminton Federation of India for developing proper infrastructure in last few years so that more talent can be nurtured from grassroots level to national team with time.