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Singapore badminton team at India Open to be 'more vigilant' after COVID-19 forces withdrawals

Singapore badminton team at India Open to be 'more vigilant' after COVID-19 forces withdrawals

Russia's Vladimir Ivanov serves during a Tokyo Olympics men's doubles badminton group stage match at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza on Jul 25, 2021. (File photo: AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore delegation at the India Open badminton tournament will be “more vigilant” after positive COVID-19 tests forced several players to withdraw from the event, the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) said on Thursday (Jan 13).

None of Singapore’s players have tested positive, and none of the players' close contacts have tested positive either, SBA said in response to a CNA query.

“At the present time the Singapore team will not be adding more measures than they already have in place, but a greater emphasis will be placed on distancing and being more vigilant,” SBA said.

Seven players have withdrawn from the ongoing tournament in New Delhi after testing positive for COVID-19, organisers said on Thursday.

Among them are India’s world number 18 Sai Praneeth and doubles player Simran Singhi. Singhi’s positive test meant that her mixed doubles partner Akshan Shetty also had to pull out as a close contact, local media reported.

The duo had been scheduled to play Singapore’s Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han on Thursday. The withdrawal of the Indian pair meant that Hee and Tan advanced to the quarter-finals in a walkover.

In India Open action on Thursday, Loh Kean Yew advanced to the men’s singles quarter-finals after a 21-12, 21-12 win over Malaysia's Soong Joo Ven. His next opponent is Russia’s Sergey Sirant.

His brother, Loh Kean Hean, won in the men's doubles, when he paired up with Hee to beat India’s Gaurav Deswal and Shubham Yadav 21-12, 21-11.

Yeo Jia Min also booked her place in the last eight of the women’s singles with a 13-21, 21-7, 21-12 victory over India’s Anupama Upadhyaya. She will face Thailand’s Supanida Katethong for a place in the semis.

Already missing a number of star names, the India Open is being played behind closed doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

India is currently experiencing a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

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Source: CNA/Reuters/kg(ac)
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