New Delhi, Feb 8: India on Friday announced the withdrawal of its women's badminton team from the upcoming Badminton Asia Championships in the wake of fast-spreading coronavirus.
The tournament is scheduled to be held in Manila, Philippines from February 11 to 16. The Badminton Association of India however said that the men's team will participate in the tournament. "Unforeseen health hazard apprehension due to the Corona Virus outbreak has resulted in withdrawal of the women's team for the upcoming Badminton Asian Championships, which is starting from Feb 11-16, 2020 in Manila, Philippines," the BAI said in a statement.
"Badminton Association of India (BAI) had reached out to the concerned authorities in Badminton Asia (BA) for assurances regarding the current situation and necessary health advisory and precautionary measures taken, it added. "After receiving complete assurances from BA, BAI had discussed the same with the Indian squad, the men's team agreed to travel and confirmed their participation however, the women's team was withdrawn owing to concerns showed by parents and players," BAI secretary general Ajay Kumar Singhania said. Earlier, BAI had named a second-string women team for the tournament while a full-strength men's side featuring World Championship bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Subhankar Dey and Lakshya Sen was announced.
The women's team was supposed to be led by young shuttlers Ashmita Chaliha and Malvika Bansod after Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu decided to skip the event to focus on Olympic qualification. Meanwhile, the likes of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun would also participate in men's doubles event in the tournament. The Indian men's team had won the bronze medal in Hyderabad in 2016. The men's team would leave for Manila on February 9. (UNI)