The start of the much-awaited All England Open has been delayed by a few hours after several 'inconclusive' Covid-19 results. The tests will be rerun, with the possible start time shifted to 2 pm GMT from 9 am GMT on Wednesday, March 17.
"The Badminton World Federation and Badminton England can confirm that a significant number of Covid-19 tests conducted for participating teams at the All England Championships were deemed 'inconclusive' and as a result, the samples will be rerun," read a statement from BWF.
The All England Open was the last tournament on the BWF calendar in 2020 before international events were stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Super 1000 event will feature most of the top-notch shuttlers around the world, including Japan’s Kento Momota, who was off the circuit following a car crash last year.
Meanwhile, women’s world no. 1 Carolina Marin has withdrawn from the tournament owing to an injury.
Some tests return positive results
The BWF has also revealed that some of the tests in the build-up to the All England Open have returned positive results. The organizers will now conduct a retest while the concerned players have been kept in isolation.
"BWF can also confirm that a small number of 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.
"As a result, play will now commence at 2pm tomorrow.
"Badminton England and the BWF continue to implement all testing protocols required by the UK Government and Public Health England to ensure the health and safety of all participants," BWF added in their statement.
Most of the players from China, South Korea and Taiwan have given the event a miss. Shuttlers' All England Open performances won't be factored in for 2021 Tokyo Olympic qualifications.