Seven thrown out of India Open badminton championship with Covid

NEW DELHI (AFP): Seven players have withdrawn from the ongoing India Open badminton championship in New Delhi after testing positive for Covid-19, organisers said on Thursday.

Top Indian player Sai Praneeth and doubles specialist Dhruv Rawat are among those out of the tournament, the Badminton Association of India said, and media reported that at least two other local players are also out.

Doubles partners deemed close contacts of the seven have also been withdrawn from the tournament which runs until Sunday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said.

“The players will not be replaced in the main draw and their opponents will be given a walkover to the next round,” it said in a statement.

The event originally meant to feature 219 players from 19 countries is being held behind closed doors because of the pandemic and was already missing a number of star names.

India is currently experiencing a sharp rise in infections driven by the new Omicron variant.