New Delhi: Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Monday decided to postpone the upcoming India Badminton Open 2021, due to the sudden rise in the COVID-19 cases in the national capital and subsequent announcement of the six-day lockdown in the city.
The India Open Super 500 tournament was scheduled to be held at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi from May 11-16. However, with the recent record surge in Covid cases and uncertainty around the pandemic as well as the lockdown is in effect from Monday midnight, BAI was left with no option but to call off the tournament.
'Considering the current challenges, BAI is left with no option but to announce the postponement of the tournament for the time being,' Badminton Association of India (BAI) general secretary Ajay Singhania said in a statement.
'Several rounds of discussions were held with BWF as well as the Delhi government and other stakeholders and accessing the safety of players and officials BAI needed to take this decision,' he added.
While India reported 2,73,810 new positive cases and 1,619 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the country's caseload past the 1.5 crore mark, Delhi has emerged as the worst hit city with 25,462 cases reported on Sunday.
Given the grave situation in the national capital, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a six-day lockdown starting tonight till next Monday.
The BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament was classified as one of the last few qualification tournaments for the Tokyo Olympics and had attracted top players including Kenta Momota, Victor Axelsen and several other Top-10 players along with representation from 33 countries.
'We had an entry of 228 players and close to 300 peoples gathering including coaches, support staff and officials and the circumstances are such that the 2021 edition of Yonex-Sunrise India Open seems for now a very risky affair,' Singhania said.
The 2021 edition was already scheduled to be held in a biosecure bubble with no spectators and media.(UNI)