CHENNAI: Tuesday was a day filled with twists and turns for Indian shuttlers in Bangkok, especially for the likes of Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap who had faced ejection from the ongoing Thailand Open. Kidambi Srikanth had endured a bleeding nose after his nasal swab test, an incident that had called for scrutiny on the methods of testing adopted by the organisers.
Twenty four hours later, after much deliberation between Badminton World Federation (BWF), Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT), Badminton Association of India (BAI) and the players, the Indian shuttlers were back in business.
Saina passed her first test on court, posting a straight-games victory over Kisona Selvaduray. Former World No 1 Srikanth was also in the zone, dismantling compatriot Sourabh Verma with ease to record a happy start.
Prannoy was also up and running, like Kashyap. Even though Prannoy and Kashyap (retired) could not emulate Saina, the fact that they were in action was a morale-booster for the team.
"We got assurances from the world body and the local organisers. We are satisfied in the manner in which they addressed our concerns," BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said.
"Everyone was naturally tense yesterday (Tuesday). There was so much uncertainty. But now the players are focussed and looking forward to doing well," he added.
BWF on Srikanth
In light of Srikanth's incident on Tuesday, the BWF said that they are working closely with BAT and the health authorities to ensure that the players/participants are safe.
Explaining the incident, the BAT, in a statement said: "The athlete had been swabbed three times earlier with the most recent one possibly causing irritation and fragility of the capillaries.
Therefore, when the swab was repeated on Tuesday, and factoring in the athlete's tense nature, the position of the stick in the nasal passage was misaligned, which caused the slight bleeding noticed from the tip of the swab."
Srikanth had posted a batch of three pictures on social media. The pictures were shocking to say the least. A close shot of him with a bloodied nose was 'unacceptable' as he posted on Twitter. "The Covid-19 staff member did not notice any bleeding from the athlete's nose and there was no complaint from Kidambi at that point.
After about three to five minutes, another athlete from the India team reported that Kidambi had a nosebleed," added the BAT statement.
"It is not known whether the athlete had blown his nose or stuck tissue up his nostrils which could have caused more blood vessels to rupture."
K Srikanth bt Sourabh Verma 21-12, 21-11; Sameer Verma lost to Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 15-21, 17-21; HS Prannoy lost to Lee Zii Jia 21-13, 14-21, 8-21; P Kashyap lost to Jason Ho-Shue 9-21, 21-13, 8-14 retd.
S Nehwal bt K Selvaduray 21-15, 21-15.
MR Arjun/D Kapila lost to O Yew Sin/T Ee Yi 21-13, 8-21, 22-24; Satwik/Chirag bt K Gi Jung/L Yong Dae 19-21, 21-16, 21-14.