CHENNAI: India's woes compounded in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as a second judoka from the contingent tested Covid positive on Wednesday.
The Indian team comprising 15 judokas and four members from the support staff had already been quarantined in a hotel after one of the male players returned positive on Tuesday. The team reached there to compete in the Asia-Oceania Championships.
A source monitoring the development confirmed to The New Indian Express that the team members along with Judo Federation of India (JFI) has sought the Indian Embassy’s help to ensure those who tested negative get permission to fly back to India if the team is not allowed to participate.
"A female judoka tested positive today (Wednesday). She was also training at SAI Centre in Bhopal like the male player, who was found positive on Tuesday," said the source.
"Our players were not allowed to compete on the first day (Tuesday) and with the second player testing positive, we could not compete today (Wednesday) also. A meeting is scheduled in the evening to decide on our participation," the source added.
The event offers crucial ranking points to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Shushila Devi (-48kg) is the best placed India judoka in the world rankings at the moment. Apart from her, Avtar Singh (-100kg), Jasleen Singh Saini (-66kg) and Tulika Maan (+78kg) are also in contention for securing an Olympic berth each.
"Apart from these two players, two more will have to serve a 14-day quarantine period as they all came together from Bhopal centre and stayed together here in a hotel," informed the source, who also confirmed that the team members didn't get food for the past 24 hours. "We were asked to stay in a hotel but were not served food. Somehow we managed to order the food online only today after 24 hours."
Notably, all the team members were tested thrice before leaving for Bishkek. They were tested again at the airport on landing. However, the first judoka tested positive in the fifth test conducted ahead of the event.