Citing unforeseen ‘health hazard apprehension’, India women team on Friday withdrew from the upcoming Badminton Asian Championships starting next week in Manila. Also Read - Badminton: Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth's Chances to Qualify For Tokyo Olympics Virtually Over With Singapore Open Cancellation

The men’s team however will take part in the competition and is scheduled to leave for Manila on February midnight. Also Read - Vitamin D, Multivitamins, Probiotics And Omega-3 Reduce COVID Risk in Women, Not Men? Find Out What Study Says

“Unforeseen health hazard apprehension due to the Corona Virus outbreak has resulted in withdrawal of the women’s team for the upcoming Badminton Asian Championships, which is starting from Feb 11-16, 2020 in Manila, Philippines,” Badminton Association of India (BAI) genreal secretary Ajay Kumar Singhania said in a media release in Friday night. Also Read - Badminton | PV Sindhu Needs to Give More Attention to Recovery Between Matches to Win Medal at Tokyo Olympics: Vimal Kumar

BAI said the decision was taken after concerns shown by the women team and their families. “Badminton Association of India (BAI) had reached out to the concerned authorities in Badminton Asia (BA) for assurances regarding the current situation and necessary health advisory and precautionary measures taken.

“After receiving complete assurances from BA, BAI had discussed the same with the Indian squad, the men’s team agreed to travel and confirmed their participation however, the women’s team was withdrawn owing to concerns showed by parents and players. The Men’s team will be leaving for Manila in Feb 9 midnight,” the release added.

India had announced a second-string women squad for the championships with Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu skipping the event to focus on Olympic qualification. However, they will field a full-strength men’s squad featuring world championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth.

The Indian men team won the bronze in 2016 and includes former World No.1 Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Subhankar Dey, Lakshya Sen apart from Praneeth. The championships presents Indian shuttlers with a chance to collect points leading up to qualifications  for the Tokyo Olympic to be held later this year.