As many 13 international badminton stars have withdrawn from the 2021 India Open Super 500 amidst the rising number of Covid-19 cases in New Delhi. Among the big names, former world no.1 Carolina Marin will skip the tournament, with Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and Rasmus Gemke also following suit.
India has been hit hard by the second wave of Covid-19, with more than 2 lakh positive cases reported over the last three days. While national capital New Delhi has been one of the hot-spots, with more than 19,000 cases detected alone on Friday, it has put the upcoming India Open Super 500 in jeopardy.
As many as 13 international badminton stars have withdrawn from the event, which is supposed to be held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi from May 11 to 16. Amongst the big names is reigning Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin will give the tournament a miss, while Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and Rasmus Gemke have also withdrawn their names.
With 19th April marked the last official date for withdrawal, more names might get added to the list, with the final draw to be announced on April 20. Despite the developments, the BWF are positive that the tournament would go on as per schedule by maintaining protocols, while it was already announced that the matches would be played behind closed doors.
“The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is in close communication and consultation with the Badminton Association of India, as well as local health authorities in Delhi, as to the protocols and requirements needed for a safe staging of the India Open 2021,” said BWF general secretary Thomas Lund.
“We are aware of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in India but have full confidence that the measures put in place will protect the safety of all players and participants,” added the official.