In spite of the alarmingly rising cases of COVID-19, the Badminton Association of India (BAI), on Tuesday, announced plans to hold the India Open badminton championship in-camera at the K.D. Jadhav Indoor hall at the Indira Gandhi Stadium here, as rescheduled from May 11 to 16.
Although medical experts on the pandemic fear that the peak of the second wave could emerge in May, the BAI will go ahead with the Olympic qualification event with 228 players from 33 countries, including China.
The event, out of bounds for spectators and media, mandates the players and the officials to report here on May 3 and serve a seven-day quarantine period.
The BAI secretary Ajay Singhania assured that information about the on-court action would be available on digital platforms in almost real time.
Thrice World champion and reigning Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin, Akane Yamaguchi, current World champion P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal are among the leading names in women’s singles.
Top men’s stars
Two-time World champion Kenta Momota, defending champion Viktor Axelson, reigning All England winner Zii Jia Lee along with home challengers K. Srikanth, B. Sai Praneeth, H.S. Prannoy and P. Kashyap promise to light up the men’s singles draw.
In doubles, World No. 10 Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, along with Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy, present the Indian challenge. Ashwini and Satwiksairaj will also test their preparedness in mixed doubles.