Covid scare in Indian men’s badminton team

Lakshya Sen pulls out of SaarLorlux Open as father-cum-coach tests positive for COVID-19

IMAGE: Lakshya Sen was aiming to recover from an early exit in Denmark Open recently before his campaign in Germany came to an abrupt end. Photograph: Lakshya Sen/Instagram

Defending champion Lakshya Sen on Wednesday pulled out of the SaarLorLux Open Super 100 tournament after his father-cum-coach D K Sen tested positive for COVID-19 in Saarbrucken.

The 19-year-old Indian was aiming to recover from an early exit in Denmark Open recently before his campaign in Germany came to an abrupt end.


“We had gone for the mandatory COVID-19 test on Monday. The result came last evening. I tested positive. It is unfortunate that Lakshya had to withdraw. He had worked hard for the tournament,” D K Sen said.

He said he is asymptomatic and ‘is doing absolutely fine’.

“I don’t feel any change, I am fine. We are trying to get a second test done.”Lakshya said he is disappointed at the turn of events.

“I am the defending champion of this event and I am very disappointed and sad with this development,” he wrote in his letter to the organising secretary.

“Under the circumstances, I do not want to jeopardise the safety of other players and hamper the functioning 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, received a by in the opening round.

The wrote in the letter: “This is to inform you that after coming to play the Saarlorlux event in Saarbrucken with my coach DK Sen and Physio Abhishek Wagh, we were asked to go to Frankfurt to get a COVID test done by the organisers.”

“We participated in the Denmark Open last week and travelled from Copenhagen. As advised we then went to Frankfurt and got our COVID tests done.”

“In the tests, myself and my Physio Abhishek are found negative, unfortunately my coach is tested positive, even though he has no symptoms.”

“I feel that being in close contact with my coach who is tested positive, I should also isolate myself. I request you to kindly grant me permission to withdraw my entry.”

Lakshya was scheduled to play USA’s Howard Shu in the second round later in the day.

Lakshya’s coach in Prakash Padukone Academy, Vimal Kumar said it was an unfortunate development.

“It is sad and unfortunate that some like this has happened. I feel it could be a false negative. Hope he returns negative in the next test,” Vimal said.

Ajay Jayaram, Shubhankar Dey out of SaarLorLux Open; in isolation amid COVID scare

Indian shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and Shubhankar Dey were forced out of the SaarLorLux Open after being put in isolation owing to contact with COVID positive father-cum-coach of defending champion Lakshya Sen, who has already withdrawn.

“BWF can confirm three players have been withdrawn from the SaarLorLux Open 2020 as a precautionary measure for all participants after they were in contact with a member of their team entourage who tested positive for COVID-19,” the Badminton World Federation said in a statement.

“The three players: Lakshya Sen, Ajay Jayaram and Subhankar Dey will not compete further in the tournament, which began on Tuesday,” it added.

All three players and the team entourage have been placed into isolation “in line with directives from tournament organisers, local health authorities and BWF tournament health protocols.”

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