The badminton world is in a state of shock after the news that a sparring partner of Taiwanese players at the BWF All England Championships has tested positive for COVID-19 infection.
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus had sent a wave of fear in the badminton world with his tweeted message. The Danish shuttler, quoting news from a Taiwanese daily, has revealed that a junior Taiwanese badminton player was in Spain at the time of the Barcelona Masters, in Germany (where the Taiwanese badminton players had training) the following week and then in UK during the time of All England. The players has tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home.
So a Taiwanese athlete who was in ?? at the time of the Barcelona Masters, in ??(where the Taiwanese badminton players had training) the following week and then in ??????? during the time of All England – has tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home…
— HK Vittinghus (@hkvittinghus) March 20, 2020
The teenager was reportedly a sparring partner of Taiwanese badminton team and he is believed to have travelled in the team bus between hotel and the arena during the All England Championship. Following the development, Taiwanese players have reportedly quarantined themselves.
Meanwhile, Indian shuttlers have expressed shock over the report. Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu were among others Indians, who have participated in the tournament in Birmingham from March 11 to 15.
“No way … really, really shocked,” Saina wrote on her Twitter handle, reacting to the report, adds PTI.
India’s doubles exponent Ashwini Ponappa, who was also in Birmingham for the & 100,000 tournament, too expressed concern. “Oh no,” she tweeted.
Parupalli Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram also expressed concern at the report.
Indian shuttlers, including H S Prannoy and world no 10 Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, had pulled out of the All England Open championship owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
Verma brothers – Sourabh and Sameer – are the other men’s singles players who withdrew, while men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy had also opted out.
Players, including Saina, Kashyap and Ashwini, had later slammed the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for continuing the Championship, saying their safety was compromised for financial gains.
Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand had also said it was wrong on BWF’s part to put the players at risk. All the India players returning from Birmingham are currently in self-isolation.