Bangkok, Jan 13: Former world number one shuttler Kidambi Srikanth got a bloodied nose after undergoing several COVID-19 tests and expressed his displeasure at the poor treatment of health officials at Thailand Open calling it "unacceptable".
The 27-year-old, who is scheduled to open his tournament on Wednesday against his compatriot Verma, shared photographs of his nose bleeding after he was tested for the fourth time. "We take care of ourselves for the match not to come and shed blood for THIS. However, I gave 4 tests after I have arrived and I can’t say any of them have been pleasant. Unacceptable," an upset Srikanth wrote on his Twitter handle.
On the other hand, speaking on this issue, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said Srikanth is being attended to by a doctor and is awaiting a medical explanation.
Four players, including two Indians - Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy, tested positive for COVID-19 after the third round of mandatory testing was conducted on Monday, the Badminton World Federation said in a statement on Tuesday. Saina Nehwal tested positive for coronavirus, while HS Prannoy after initially testing positive, returned negative on re-examination.
Saina's husband and fellow participant Parupalli Kashyap has been placed in self-quarantine. Several Indian players are participating in the Thailand Open, which kick-started the 2021 badminton season.
Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) also issued this statement: "The athlete had been swabbed three times earlier with the most recent one possibly causing irritation and fragility of the capillaries. Therefore, when the swab was repeated on Tuesday, and factoring in the athlete’s tense nature, the position of the stick in the nasal passage was misaligned, which caused the slight bleeding noticed from the tip of the swab."
“The COVID-19 staff member did not notice any bleeding from the athlete’s nose and there was no complaint from Kidambi at that point. After about three to five minutes, another athlete from the India team reported that Kidambi had a nosebleed.
“It is not known whether the athlete had blown his nose or stuck tissue up his nostrils which could have caused more blood vessels to rupture. Badminton Association of Thailand, Thonburi Healthcare Group and the Ministry of Public Health have a strict COVID-19 prevention policy to do the nasal passage swab as often as every three to four days for early detection to reassure the athletes and their entourage to stay COVID-19 free throughout the tournament,” they added.
The mixed doubles team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa got off to a winning start on Tuesday. The Indian duo beat the Indonesian team of Hafiz Faisal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja, seeded sixth in the tournament. Rankireddy and Ponnappa won the match 21-11, 27-19, 21-16 to advance to the next round. But PV Sindhu was knocked out by Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt, who came back from a game down to win 16-21, 26-24, 21-13.
Meanwhile, the Indian men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty cruised into the second round of the ongoing Thailand Open here on Wednesday. The world number ten Indian pair outclassed South Korean pair of Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae 19-21, 21-16, 21-14 in the first round of the tournament.