The state government has geared up to host 2022 Odisha Open, the inaugural edition of a BWF international badminton tournament which will see over 300 players from 18 countries vie for the top honours. The 2022 Odisha Open is a BWF Super 100 tournament and no spectators will be allowed to be present at the events that will take place at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack from January 25 to January 30.
Odisha Sports Minister T K Behera said COVID guidelines and norms laid down by the state government and Badminton World Federation (BWF) will be strictly followed at the tournament. "Our collective efforts are to ensure an overall safe and secure environment for players to participate in their respective games," Behera said. The sports and youth services department is working closely with Badminton Association of India and Odisha State Badminton Association to ensure that the tournament is as per BWF standards and is conducted smoothly with utmost priority to safety of the players.
"The COVID protocol have been clearly defined. We look forward to hosting all the players and officials and wish them a wonderful stay in Odisha and good luck for their event," he said. As per the protocol laid down by the government and BWF, RT-PCR test is mandatory for all players and officials and they have to arrive before January 23 to participate in the event. Players also need to carry their RT-PCR negative reports (72 hours) at the time of arrival along with their vaccination certificate. No player will be allowed to enter the venue (event and practice) without a prior negative RT-PCR report in confirmity with BWF norms, Behera said.
Random testing shall also be conducted for officials and players not staying at the official hotels, he said. The Odisha State Badminton Association has been asked to intimate players on these guidelines and teams from Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and Capital Hospital along with a dedicated team from the state sports department will be deployed for the testing of the players and officials. The venue has gone through minor upgradation and enhancement befitting the event and the district administration and Cuttack Municipal Corporation are working to ensure that the silver city is ready for it.