Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy Cleared to Play After Negative COVID-19 Test

News18
·3-min read

India's top shuttlers Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and H.S. Prannoy on Tuesday 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.

All three players will play their rescheduled first-round match on Wednesday.

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

"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," said BWF in a media release

"Both Saina Nehwal and H.S. 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.

"Timely intervention of BAI ensured with all support from BWF and other stakeholders have made this possible," the national body added.

Apart from the Indian trio, Germany's Jones Ralfy Jansen and Egypt's Adham Hatem Elgamal had also tested positive after the Monday tests. While Jansen's decision too has been reversed and he can now compete, Elgamal has been forced to withdraw as his antibody test was negative, said BWF.

Elgamal returned negative antibody IgG, which indicated he has no antibodies for the virus. He also returned a positive PCR test and hadn't contacted Covid before.

Subsequently, on the advice of the doctors, Elgamal was withdrawn from the tournament

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.

Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap too was forced to withdraw “due to close proximity” with wife and fellow shuttler Saina.

Hours after making the announcement of the three players having to withdraw on Tuesday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said that Sain and Prannoy had been tested a second time and produced positive results. However, a working group of six doctors that has been formed for the tournament by the Thailand government had determined that the pair were not currently "not infected and do not pose a danger to the tournament".

Prannoy is set to face Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia on Tuesday while Kashyap faces Canada's Jason Anthony Shue. Saina faces Kisona Selvudoray of Malaysia in her first-round fixture

But the day, which also witnessed a shock first-round exit of reigning world champion and Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu, ended on a better note for the Indians following the two shuttlers’ clearance.

(With agency inputs)