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Olympic bronze medallist and former world number 1 Saina Nehwal and current men's world number 28 HS Prannoy has tested positive for Covid-19 at the Thailand Open. In a 3rd and last mandatory round of Covid-19 tests ahead of the tournament, Saina and Prannoy tested positive and has been asked to isolate in a hospital for a minimum of 10 days by the organisers. Both the players have been withdrawn from the tournament.

As a result, Saina's opponent in the first round, Kisona Selvaduray has got a walkover. HS Prannoy had his first round match with local hope Lee Zii Jia on Wednesday. PV Sindhu meanwhile remains the only Indian in the women's singles draw at the first tournament on the international badminton calendar which was paused due to the pandemic.

Earlier, top India shuttlers, including Saina Nehwal, Kidmbi Sirkanth and Sai Praneeth, left for Thailand in the first week of January to compete in the two BWF Super 1000 tournaments which will witness top stars from across the globe battling for the top prizes. All the players had tested negative on their arrival in Thailand and had started to practice for the tournament.

Notably, Saina had recently recovered from Covid-19 and was be keen on returning to form, keeping in mind the Olympic qualification.

Sindhu and Saina didn't participate in Denmark Open Super 750 and SaarLorLux Super 100 -- the only two events which could be conducted since BWF was forced to suspend the calendar after the completion of the All England Championship in March.

The Indian team and all other athletes and staff who are part of the tournament were tested on their arrival in Bangkok, and all 824 participants, including 216 players from 22 teams have tested negative, the organisers announced on Wednesday.




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