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Mass withdrawals play havoc with Odisha Open

The Odisha Open badminton tournament, with $75,000 up for grabs, has only limited international flavour, with not a single top seed across five sections showing up at Cuttack.

The unprecedented number of last-minute withdrawals left the officials worried and the list could not be made public until close to 2 am on Tuesday. It was tough to find replacements for those pulling out of the qualifying as well as the main rounds. A fair number of no-shows played havoc with the schedule.

The withdrawal of the seeded entries across sections was startling.

In men’s singles, only three seeds remain after five seeds, including P. Kashyap, Sourabh Verma, Ajay Jayaram, withdrew. Third seed Subhankar Dey, sixth seed Xiaodong Sheng (Canada) and seventh seed Cheam June Wei (Malaysia) are the new favourites for the title.

Only two seeds remain in women’s singles that has 30 Indians and two Americans of Indian origin, after top seed Saina Nehwal led the no-shows of six seeded players, including Supanida Katethong (Thailand) and Aakarshi Kashyap. Fifth seed Ashmita Chahila and eighth seeded Disha Gupta (USA) are the only survivors.

In men’s doubles and women’s doubles, six seeded pairs withdrew. The favourite for women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy, topped the list.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 11:16:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/mass-withdrawals-play-havoc-with-odisha-open/article38326248.ece