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Shuttlers Srikanth, Covid+ Praneeth in 10-day quarantine in Bangkok

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Badminton World Championship bronze medallist Sai Praneeth and former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth, roommates for the ongoing Thailand Open Super 1000 in Bangkok, are in a minimum 10-day quarantine in their hotel in that city, after the former tested Covid-positive. Srikanth won his first-round match, but now both are out of the competition.

With a world tour ranking of seventh, Srikanth has qualified for the BWF World Tour Finals that will be played in Bangkok from January 27 to 31. If his Covid test gives a negative result, post quarantine, he can compete in this competition. Praneeth has not qualified for it.

It is the second time this month that Indian players’ campaign in Thailand was jeopardised due to positive tests but unlike the earlier case, Praneeth and Srikanth’s decisions weren’t reversed.

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Earlier, Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy had tested positive during the first Thailand Open, held from January 12 to 17. However, both players, who had contracted the virus earlier as well, were deemed safe to compete in the tournament after their anti-body tests came positive as well.

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) was hoping that Praneeth and Srikanth would also be allowed to compete at the Thailand Open Super 1000 on similar grounds.

However, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said that the final decision is dependent upon the Thai health authorities’ assesment of the situation.

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“Upon a positive result, the Thai health authorities will take the appropriate actions to confirm the positive test. This is what happened in the case of Sai Praneeth B. and all positive results so far,” a BWF spokesperson told IANS.

It meant that Praneeth could not take further part in the ongoing tournament and will be required to quarantine for at least 10 days. Srikanth, who was Praneeth’s roommate, tested negative but will also have to be in quarantine for the same period.

“I had to pull out of the BWF Thailand Open to stay in line with BWF health and safety protocols, after my roommate tested +ve. I have however tested negative and I look forward to finishing my quarantine,” Srikanth tweeted on Thursday.

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–IANS

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