I am more relieved than happy that we pulled this off: BAI Secretary General Ajay Singhania

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New Delhi: Despite the immense odds of COVID-19 and the rise in cases, As the 10th edition of the India Open came to an end on Sunday, the Badminton Association of India’s core group can take a sigh of relief as the 2022 HSBC BWF World Tour season kicks off successfully.

The hiccups in holding the $350,000 prize money event began with uncertainty over clearance for the tournament due to rising COVID-19 cases in the national capital at the start of the year. Several officials of the organizing committee tested positive in the prescribed precautionary procedures as per the guidelines before coming to the tournament.

By the time tournament week began, a small core group was responsible for the cancellation of the event.

According to an official release, BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said, “I am more than happy that we have withdrawn it.”

The India Open 2022 was held in early 2020 after a gap of two years following the outbreak of COVID-19.

While the first two days saw smooth sailing, seven Indian players who passed the mandatory RT-PCR tests returned positive, not only spoiling the pre-quarterfinals schedule, but leaving the officials to tackle another task. left for

These players could not stay in the official hotel after testing positive and had to stay elsewhere.

“Sending them to a government hospital for quarantine was risky. But thankfully we somehow managed to persuade a hotel in the city, while most refused to host these players,” Singhania said.

Another major area of ​​concern for BAI was to find a host broadcaster in a short period of time as the previous contract expired.

“Sony came on board to show the match and we are grateful to them. It was a touch and go situation but things fell apart at the last minute too,” he added.

The action will now take place in Lucknow next week for the Syed Modi International and then the Odisha Open.

BAI is confident that the three-event Indian circuit will provide the right start to the new international badminton season despite the challenges of COVID-19 in the country.

First Published:January 18, 2022, 10:49 am

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