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BAI expects 'quarantined' Chinese shuttlers for India Open

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
Last updated on: February 20, 2020 18:45 IST
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China's Chen Yufei

IMAGE: China is expected to send a 60-plus contingent, led by Chen Yufei (in pic) and Shi Yuqi, for next month's India Open. Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters

The Badminton Association of India is optimistic about China's participation in next month's India Open despite fears surrounding the deadly coronavirus as Chinese shuttlers are in quarantine for almost a fortnight in Europe.

 

A top BAI official said the federation has already got in touch with the sports and external affairs ministries, seeking clarity regarding visa processing of the shuttlers from Asian countries, especially China and Hong Kong.

"India Open is an important tournament for Olympic qualification, so we are expecting a big Chinese contingent," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"BAI has sought permission from the sports ministry and external affairs ministry for the visa process of the athletes. The Chinese shuttlers are already in Europe to play the German Open, All England and Swiss Open before coming to India."

The novel coronavirus has killed more than 2,000 and infected over 75,000 people in China. The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, late last year and the city has been under a lockdown for weeks now.

Given the health risks, Chinese wrestlers were last week denied visas for the ongoing Asian Championships.

Chinese and Hong Kong shuttlers are expected to play the All England Championships, a BWF World Tour Super 1000, to be held from March 11 to 15 in Birmingham, as they are already in Europe.

Swiss Open World Tour 300 (March 17-22) is the next event in the international schedule, ahead of the India Open.

"The Chinese shuttlers are in quarantine for almost a fortnight in Europe and they are expected to play German Open and All England Championships. After that there is the Swiss Open so they would be in Europe before they play the India Open," said a BWF official.

China is expected to send a 60-plus contingent, led by Chen Yufei and Shi Yuqi. The legendary Lin Dan and He Bingjiao are also expected to be part of the squad. Also, shuttlers from Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea are in line to participate in the tournament.

The sports ministry has made it clear that it will extend all support to BAI.

"We will abide by the Olympic Charter and provide all support to BAI but it is a health issue and the last decision lies with the government. Whenever any federation comes to us for conducting an official tournament we have always instantly given our approval," a sports ministry source said.

Meanwhile, Badminton World Federation Tournament Series manager Ruvian Ruslan on Thursday visited the K D Jadhav Indoor Stadium, which will host the India Open from March 24 to March 29.

"The two-member BWF team was in Delhi to visit the venue and is very happy with the facilities of the stadium and have approved the venue for India Open 2020. We are confident that this edition will see top class badminton action and I urge all badminton fans to come and watch the players live," BAI secretary Ajay K Singhania said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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