Jakarta: Despite an over 28% rise of single-day new COVID-19 cases to 117,100 on Friday compared to Thursday, Indonesia’s World No. 2 men’s doubles pair, Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan are leading a team of Indonesian shuttlers, including Tommy Sugiarto (men’s singles), Fitriani and Yulia Yosephine Susanto (both women’s singles and women’s doubles) to participate at the 2022 India Open (a BWF World Tour Super 500 event) that will be held in New Delhi, from Jan 11, 2022, to Jan 16, 2022.
In addition to facing the rapid resurgence of the COVID-19 cases in India, Setiawan/Ahsan a.k.a “The Daddies” would also need to undergo 7 to 10 days COVID-19 self-quarantine after coming back to Indonesia.
“We are aware of the risk, and we are willing to be quarantined when returning from India,” said Ahsan.
India Open is the first BWF World Tour tournament of the season and is also the first out of three major tournaments that will take place in India in January of 2022. After India Open, the Syed Modi India International (a BWF World Tour Super 300 event) is scheduled to take place in Lucknow, from January 18 to January 23, followed by the Odisha Open (a BWF World Tour Super 100 event) in Cuttack, from January 25 to January 30.
However, Setiawan/Ahsan said that they would only compete at the India Open.
“We will only play at the India Open,” added Ahsan.
Setiawan/Ahsan were seeded top in the men’s doubles event and will play India’s Prem Singh Chouhan/Rajesh Verma in the first round. With the absence of the World No. 3 Tokyo Olympics champions – Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin of Taiwan, and the World No. 4 Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi of Japan, the Daddies became heavy favorites to win the men’s doubles title.
The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) had originally decided not to send players to India due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indonesian team will depart for India on January 7, 2022.
If Setiawan/Ahsan successfully advance to the semi-finals, they could possibly face No. 3 seeds Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi of Malaysia in the last four.