World No.1 pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo pulled out of the Asian Leg of the HSBC BWF World Tour after Sukamuljo tested positive for COVID-19. No positive tests have been recorded so far for players who were tested on arrival and who are currently in quarantine.
Sukamuljo was tested on 20 December 2020 after showing symptoms of COVID-19. He reportedly had lost his sense of smell and taste and had mild flu. After the test returned positive, he was kept in isolation at home. Two more subsequent tests, the second of which was on 31 December 2020, were also positive. The rest of the team was not informed so as to not affect team morale in the build-up to the Asian Leg.
“Thank you for your prayers and support, I hope I can recover quickly and be able to train again as before. This is also a lesson for me to always be vigilant in future,” said Sukamuljo.
Herry Iman Pierngadi, the head coach in men’s doubles, said Sukamuljo wouldn’t have entered the tournaments even if the last test had returned negative. “Even if he had tested negative, I wouldn’t have wanted him to compete at these three taxing tournaments. He wouldn’t have had enough time to prepare properly. Right now, his health is of utmost importance.”
There was a withdrawal in women’s singles as local hope Nitchaon Jindapol was injured during training yesterday. Jindapol will miss both the YONEX Thailand Open and the TOYOTA Thailand Open. She was drawn to face top seed Tai Tzu Ying in the first round of the YONEX Thailand Open next week.
Meanwhile, men’s singles third seed Anders Antonsen, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier last month, has recovered and arrived in Bangkok with the rest of the Danish team.