The pandemic, COVID-19, brought the whole world into a halt. Cinema, theatres, parks, stadiums, everything was pegged back. The pandemic had such a devastating effect that the leagues across the world were suspended, including the quadrennial event, Olympics 2020. But as the saying goes, “Tough times don’t last, but the tough men do,” the pandemic is slowly receding, and things are getting better day by day. With things slowly taking shape, India’s top badminton players have resumed training.
India’s top badminton players who are back to their training schedule are Olympics silver-medalist, Pusarla Sindhu, and Bronze-medalist Saina Nehwal. World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth and doubles exponent N Sikki Reddy have also joined the team alongside fellow players.
Talking about the changes, the Indian badminton team coach, Pullela Gopichand said: I am very happy to have our elite shuttlers back for on-field training after this long break.
Resuming training will give the players enough time to get back to shape for the Thomas and Uber Cup team competitions. “This will give everyone an opportunity to be in shape. By mid-September, we need to finalize our teams for Denmark. I was looking at the draw and saw we have a good chance, can really do well,” said PPBA head coach U. Vimal Kumar, a former national coach
Regarding the new safety concerns due to COVID-19 impact, the protocols have been laid at the academy. BWF said that players could avoid wearing face masks while it will be mandatory for all personnel in the Green Zone.
“Instead of shaking hands, players can touch rackets with their opponents and nod/or put their hand across chest when greeting the match officials…To avoid contact, a shuttlecock dispenser will be provided at the end of the court, player can take the shuttlecock from the dispenser and return the used shuttlecock to the service judge with the racket or drop it into the shuttlebox.”
BWF is keen to create a badminton bubble that will ensure everyone in the bubble is tested frequently in every tournament. A testing plan will support the idea, and all players will be required to undergo COVID-19 PCR tests. BWF will provide a financial relief package to help host test players and team entourage up to the accreditation limit stated in the prospectus. All these mandatory procedures will be followed for the training and tournaments.
Despite the pandemic bringing a halt to all the sports activities, the things are slowly respawning. Top 5 European leagues have concluded that IPL 2020 is going to be held in UAE. Now, India’s top badminton players have returned to training and are getting ready to perform in the International event with all mandatory procedures.