Defending champion Lakshya Sen and two other Indian badminton players were forced to pull out of the FSaarLorLux Open in Germany last week following a Covid-19 case in the contingent. They were forced to go into quarantine in Germany for nearly a week. On Tuesday, their ordeal ended after they returned home, following negative test for the coronavirus.
Lakshya had to withdraw from the tournament after his father-cum-coach DK Sen tested positive. Sen, however, was asymptomatic, as per reports.
Two other Indian shuttlers -- former world No. 13 Ajay Jayaram and 2018 winner of the tournament, Subhankar Dey, who had decided to participate in the German tournament after the Denmark Open, also had to withdraw owing to contact with Sen. This despite the fact that Lakshya, Jayaram, Dey and physio Abhishek Wagh had tested negative ahead of the tournament.
Lakshya, who claimed five titles in the senior circuit last year including two BWF World Tour Super 100 top honours -- SaarLorLux Open and Dutch Open -- had received a bye in the opening round of the tournament along with Dey. Jayaram, on the other hand, had won his opening-round clash.
The Indian contingent spent five days in quarantine before fresh test results found them to be negative, clearing their return to the country.
“We reached Bengaluru at home this morning around 5a.m. We all are fine and healthy,” a relieved DK Sen told PTI.
“We were in quarantine since my first Test came positive. The German official did the second COVID Test for all five of us on November 1 and thankfully the reports came negative, so we immediately returned home.”
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While Lakshya, his father and the physio reached Bengaluru, Dey and Jayaram took a flight from Frankfurt to New Delhi.
“This situation prevented the players from competing in the event and local authorities putting them in isolation,” the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA, where Lakshya trains, said via a statement.
“The timely intervention of Badminton Association of India (BAI), German Badminton Association and Badminton World Federation (BWF) ensured that after 5 days of isolation, all of them were again put through a COVID test on Sunday which turned out negative.
“This helped the players, coach and physio to return back to India. Earlier the local authorities in Saarbrucken insisted on all the players and support staff to remain in isolation till the 10th of November 2020.”
(With inputs from PTI)
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