The Yonex Sunrise Indian Open 2021 which was scheduled to happen in New Delhi from May 11 to 16th behind closed doors has now been postponed by the organisers, Badminton Association of India (BAI) and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) after consultation. The announcement was released on Monday as they deemed it not safe to carry on with the event considering the spike in COVID-19 in the country.
“The decision was made in consultation and collaboration with local health authorities in Delhi and the Badminton World Federation,” the BWF said in its statement.
“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,” the statement added.
Currently, India’s condition is getting worse with every passing day and hence several players have also withdrawn their names from the BWF World Tour Super 500 event. The list of withdrawn players includes some big names like reigning Olympic Gold Medallist Carolina Marin, Former World Champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and BWF World Tour Finals champion Anders Antonsen of Denmark to name a few.
“We had an entry of 228 players and close to 300 people gathering including coaches, support staff and officials and the circumstances are such that the 2021 edition of the India Open seems, for now, a very risky affair,” BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said.
The tournament would have offered ranking points which would be very crucial for some shuttlers who have not yet booked a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics. The postponement of the tournament is not a good sign for Olympic Bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and former Wolrd No.1 shuttler Srikanth Kidambi as they are yet to qualify for the Summer Games.
The qualification process will run till June 15 and with the Singapore Open scheduled to start on June 1, it is going to be the last throw at the dice for the remaining shuttlers. For now, looking at the situation the signs are not positive and the Indian Open may even get cancelled as the tournament was supposed to be held in KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi, where there will be lockdown for at least the next six days as COVID-19 cases are on the rise.