All England Open: Three Indian shuttlers test positive for COVID-19

Birmingham: Three Indian shuttlers and one member of support staff have tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the All England Open Badminton Championships 2021, Badminton Association of India (BAI) Secretary Ajay Singhania has confirmed.

“Three players and one support staff tested COVID-19 positive. I am in touch with the team and the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Yesterday, BWF verbally informed players but nothing they have given on paper,” Singhania told ANI.

A source in the BWF said those players who had contracted COVID before are most likely to have a positive result.

“The positive results are most likely from those who have had COVID before. And it’s most likely they are all actually negative. The testing process is still picking up old infections. We will be able to confirm everything in a few hours,” the source within BWF said.

Earlier in the day, BWF confirmed that a small number of COVID-19 positive tests were recorded, and in agreement with Public Health England, these cases will be retested. These cases will continue to self-isolate while they are retested.

On Tuesday, India shuttler Saina Nehwal said that she is still waiting for her COVID-19 test report even as the All England Open is set to start on Wednesday.

Saina also highlighted how she has not been able to train and how her preparation has not been ideal before the start of such an important tournament.

“Ok, I have to do this now! Matches are starting tomorrow at the @YonexAllEngland and still no reports of the Covid test done 30hrs before. No practice, no gym .. for 2 days now,” Saina tweeted.

Also, the start of All England Open Badminton Championships 2021 has been delayed after several COVID-19 tests conducted were deemed “inconclusive”, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said on Wednesday
The inconclusive samples will be rerun and the play will now commence at 2 pm GMT on Wednesday rather than 9 am GMT.