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Top badminton players withdraw participation from All England Championship, leave Gopichand academy

  • It will be interesting to see if Saina Nehwal can qualify for her fourth Olympic appearance in Tokyo.
Modified 06 Mar 2020, 10:18 IST

Saina Nehwal who is racing against time to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Saina Nehwal who is racing against time to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

What’s the story?

Two positive cases of the coronavirus were reported on Wednesday from Madhapur and Gachibowli, which are the suburban areas of Hyderabad. This has caused panic in the minds of the players, which prompted them to pull out from the upcoming All England Badminton Championships and also to stop training at Gopichand's academy that is situated in Gachibowli.

In case you did not know

The All England Open is the most prestigious badminton event in the world. The tournament this year is to be held in Birmingham from March 11-15.

Heart of the matter

Seven Indian players, including Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who form the doubles team have decided to back out from participating in the upcoming All England Open due to the coronavirus pandemic. They also made it clear that they would not train at Pullela Gopichand’s academy in Gachibowli, Hyderabad and are moving towards their homes.

Badminton Association of India (BAI) Secretary-general Ajay Singhania said, “Those who are still confirmed to compete are PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, B Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa, Sikki Reddy and Pranav Jerry Chopra."

What’s next?

Considering that the situation worldwide is grave, it remains to be seen if more players pull out of the event before they are scheduled to leave for England on Sunday. It will also be interesting to see if Saina and Srikanth can make the cut for the Olympic Games.

Published 06 Mar 2020, 10:18 IST
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