Badminton action is all set to return with Yonex – Sunrise India Open 2021. The event will feature Rio Olympics champion Carolina Marin and World No.1 Kento Momota among other elite international entries at the much-awaited Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2021. The action will take place behind closed doors in the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall at New Delhi starting from May 11-16.
The Tournament that will also be an Olympic qualifier event, has attracted 228 (114 men and 114 women) entries from 33 different national associations that also includes China. The glorious annual tournament, categorised as BWF World Tour Super 500 event, will be one of the final few qualification events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and will be a testimony to some thrilling action.
However, owing to the rapid rise in covid cases in India, the event will be held in a bio secure bubble in the absence of spectators and media while adhering to strict COVID-19 safety protocols.
All the athletes along with the officials coming from South Africa, Brazil, Middle East and European nations including UK will undergo a 7-day quarantine period and will have to report in Delhi on May 3. Players and officials coming from rest of the world can arrive on May 6 and serve a 4-day quarantine period.
Delhi Government will carry out the RT-PCR test on arrival on May 3 and 6 and also on May 9 and 14. Badminton Association of India (BAI) will make available one additional meal of choice for all participants, officials as well as for support staff members during the quarantine period.
“We are really happy to finally be able resume badminton action and host such top shuttlers from across the world. But with the recent spike in cases, we have to be more cautious. Players’ safety has always been of prime importance and our top priority and this tournament will be no different. We will be implementing and following strict COVID-19 protocols and guidelines as shared by Government of India and Delhi Government,” Organising Secretary and General Secretary of BAI Ajay Singhania said.
“We understand spectators have been an integral part of our growth story but this year despite it being an Olympic qualifier and an array of star shuttlers in action, we have to take the decision of conducting the tournament in a bio bubble. We hope fans and media will understand the challenges and support us. We will be using all our digital handles to broadcast and interact with fans and bring the players and fans much closer,” Singhania added.
Marin, the three-time world champion will spearhead the women’s singles category along with other Top-10 players like Akane Yamaguchi, 2019 World Champion Indian Shuttler PV Sindhu, Korea’s An Se-Young and Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong and the former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal.
India has the biggest contingent with 48 players consisting of 27 women and 21 men. while Malaysia will have the second largest squad with 26 shuttlers including 10 women and 16 men. 10 shuttlers that include 4 women and 6 men from China are also part of the participants list.
In the men’s singles category, the Top-10 players in the event will include two-time world champion Momota, defending champion Viktor Axelson, Anders Antonsen and current All England Open champion Zii Jia Lee. Former world No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi will lead the contention for the hosts alongside B Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap.
India’s men’s doubles contention will be led by World No. 10 pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy. Meanwhile Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will look forward to crucial Olympic qualification points in women’s doubles. Ponnappa will also pair with Satwik in the mixed doubles event which features Japanese duo of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino leading the list of six Top-10 combinations in the event.
The draw will be announced on April 20.The last date for withdrawal of entry is April 19.