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Uncertainty Over ‘Covid Positive’ Saina Nehwal’s Fate at Thailand Open

GUWAHATI: Uncertainty loomed large whether London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will be allowed to play at Thailand Open 2021 from Wednesday.

The Badminton World Federation said on Tuesday that the Indian ace had tested positive for Covid-19 and was asked to be in isolation for 10 days at a Bangkok hospital.

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has, however, stated that Nehwal’s positive test in the third round of mandatory tests done on Monday was false. It claimed that she should be allowed to open her campaign on Wednesday. The BWF has already treated her opening match against Malaysia’s Selvaduray Kisona as a walkover.

“The BAI is convinced that her test result on Monday was false. We are hopeful that she would be allowed to play tomorrow,” BAI joint secretary Omar Rashid told Inside Northeast.

He cited that Nehwal had herself taken to social media to say that she was yet to receive her report and was confused about her test. Nehwal claimed that she never received her test report from Monday.

If Nehwal is allowed to play, her husband and roommate Parupalli Kashyap, who was also asked to self-quarantine by the BWF and his men’s singles opening match was a walkover, should also be able to open his campaign on Wednesday. The BWF had indeed cleared Kashyap after the retesting of the third round of tests specimens, three players, including an Indian player, had tested negative.

Another Indian shuttler, Kidambi Srikanth, who is set to open his campaign on Wednesday, alleged poor treatment from the health officials at the Thailand Open in Bangkok.

He took to Twitter to tweet a bleeding nose after Covid tests specimen collection and stated: “We take care of ourselves for the match not to come and shed blood for THIS. However , I gave 4 tests after I have arrived and I can’t say any of them have been pleasant. Unacceptable.”

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