Saina, Srikanth’s Olympics hopes hit as Indian team’s Malaysian Open participation in doubt


London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal and males’s star Kidambi Srikanth’s final hopes of Olympic qualification hold in stability as the Indian authorities negotiates for his or her participation in the Malaysian Open amid a ban on flights from India in that nation.

Following the postponement of the India Open (May 11-16), Saina and Srikanth’s hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Games hinge on the (May 25-30) Kuala Lumpur occasion adopted by the Singapore Open (June 1-6).

In the wake of an unprecedented COVID-19 surge in India, Malaysia and Singapore have banned flights from the nation efficient April 28.

“The Sports Ministry, through the Ministry of External Affairs, has approached the Malaysian Government requesting to grant permission to the Indian Badminton Team to travel to Malaysia to participate in the Malaysian Open scheduled from May 25 to May 30,” the Sports Authority of India mentioned in a press release.

“This is in light of a temporary travel ban that has been imposed by Malaysia on travellers from India, owing to the rising COVID-19 cases in India,” it added.

After an preliminary request made earlier this week, the Indian High Commission in Malaysia “received information from the Malaysian Government that the travel of the team may not be possible immediately.”

“However, with 19 days left for the competition to begin, the possibility of travel cannot be ruled out completely,” SAI acknowledged.

The event is among the final occasions that contribute to Olympic qualification which ends on June 15. All prime Indian singles and doubles gamers like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy are as a result of take part in this.

The Badminton Association of India mentioned it has nonetheless not given up hope and is awaiting for a response from the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“Indian nationals won’t be allowed in Malaysia as well as in Singapore, this is already in public knowledge. This is why we had written to both the Member Countries to consider our request as a special case with respect to the Olympic Qualification of some of our players,” BAI normal secretary Ajay Singhania advised PTI.

“The matter has been taken up with BWF as well and we are awaiting Badminton Malaysia’s response. Until they decline any possibility we will continue to pursue every opportunity that we have to send our shuttlers.”

The governing physique had earlier mentioned that as per the laid-out pointers, for any Indian to enter Singapore, they need to both be in quarantine in a international nation apart from India for 14 days earlier than they are going to be allowed to enter Singapore.

“Alternatively all players have to maintain a 21 days quarantine in Singapore.”

“As for Malaysia, for now there is a 14 days quarantine guideline which means, our players have to reach Malaysia on May 10, 2021 to follow the protocols laid out by both the countries.”

With direct journey not doable, BAI had been attempting to work out an answer and was exploring different routes to achieve Malaysia by way of Doha or Sri Lanka.

BWF, then again, has been in dialogue with BA of Malaysia (BAM) on the feasibility of conducting the Malaysia Open in gentle of the host nation’s 14-day obligatory quarantine rule for collaborating nations, together with Denmark, Japan and China.

COVID-19 circumstances are on the rise in Malaysia as properly and to this point 14 shuttlers in the nation have examined constructive, in line with reviews.

A number of days again, World quantity two Viktor Axelsen had additionally pulled out of the European Championship closing in Kiev after returning COVID constructive.

Indian shuttlers who’ve already made the reduce for the Olympics embody PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and males’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.

Besides the quartet, Srikanth, Saina and the ladies’s doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa had been speculated to take part in the 2 Olympic qualifiers.

The COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted the worldwide calender final 12 months as properly, forcing the BWF to cancel or postpone many of the tournaments and likewise give you a brand new Olympic qualifying interval.



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