India Open 201: Tournament postponed due to surge in COVID-19 cases

The India Open Super 500 badminton tournament has been postponed indefinitely due to the rising cases of Covid-19 in New Delhi, Badminton Association of India (BAI) general secretary Ajay Kumar Singhania said in a virtual press conference on Monday.

“As you know, there is a lockdown in Delhi from midnight today to the 26th of this month and even after that we don’t know what the situation will be. It is a serious situation and after talking to all stakeholders we have come to a decision that it will not be right to organise the tournament,” said Singhania.

The Badminton World Federation also made the announcement in a statement on Monday.

“Tournament organisers Badminton Association of India (BAI) have postponed the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2021 scheduled for 11-16 May 2021,” said the BWF.

“All attempts were made by organisers to conduct a safe tournament environment for all participants, but the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and gravity of the situation in Delhi left BAI no choice but to postpone the tournament,” it further said.

The India Open was part of the qualification cycle for this year’s Tokyo Olympics. The tournament was postponed last year as well due to the pandemic and was eventually cancelled.

“This decision was taken only today and we have been working hard to get this tournament going for the past few days. It would have been a great tournament for our Olympic hopefuls as well. But the situation is very bad. there is a shortage of beds in New Delhi, there are doubts over whether test results are dependable or not. We tried a lot but then we are a victim of the circumstances. Our priority has to be the health of the players, officials and our tournament organisers,” said Singhania.

“It is quite disappointing that we are having to postpone this tournament for a second consecutive time. I am fully confident that we will be able to organise it whenever the circumstances allow it,” he said.

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