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Sai Praneeth, Ashwini-Sikki withdraw from Singapore Open; others may follow


Reluctant to undergo the 21-day quarantine in which he would have to forego practice, Tokyo-bound B Sai Praneeth withdrew his entry from the Singapore Open, scheduled for June 1-5.

“It’s because we have to do 21 days quarantine and you can’t play even it is 14 days quarantine. Without practice it is very tough to play,” Praneeth said.

Women’s doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponappa-Sikki Reddy have also withdrawn from the tournament ending their qualification hope.

Indians will have to undergo obligatory 21 days of quarantine in Singapore, which has anyway stopped flights from India. While other shuttlers haven’t yet withdrawn, the 21 day window shuts today.

While Praneeth received the first dose of the vaccine, that alone would not suffice to open up travelling restrictions applicable to Indians, after the variants have put travellers from the country on a red list. “The vaccine status as of today can’t be used for travel or to seek exemptions for quarantine as an Indian,” he explained. “Maybe in the future, but I doubt it’ll help this early,” he added. India is recording the highest Corona cases worldwide.

With Telangana going into lockdown from May 12 for 10 days, Sai Praneeth will take a break from training. “I was preparing from a very long time for Malaysia and Singapore. But once it got cancelleded, I thought I’ll take a break and then start preparing for Olympics. I’ve already done 7 weeks of hard training so I thought I could take a break,” he said. “The next 3 months will be tough non-stop and now that we aren’t travelling, we can train with focus,” he added.



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