Indian badminton athletes to Malaysia for Olympic qualification

With current travel restrictions, Indian players cannot take direct flights. We checked by route and the alternative is from Sri Lanka or from Doha …

Jakarta (medialnews) – The Badminton Association of India (BAI) said a number of badminton players, including Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, are likely to travel via Doha to Malaysia and Singapore to compete in the final two Olympic qualifiers next month.

BAI wants to make badminton players’ journey through Doha smooth due to travel restrictions imposed by the two host countries due to the massive spike in COVID-19 cases in India.

Olympic bronze medalist Saina and former world champion badminton player Srikanth have yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Their chances of both were hampered by the postponement of the India Open Super 500 (May 11-16) as a result of the second wave of the pandemic in India.

Also read: Indonesia will send 17 representatives to the Singapore Open 2021

Saina and Srikanth will currently rely on the two remaining Olympic qualifiers, the Malaysia Open from May 25-30 and the Singapore Open from June 1-6, to accumulate maximum points before the June 15 deadline.

“With current travel restrictions, Indian players will not be able to take direct flights. We have checked routes and the alternatives are from Sri Lanka or Doha and Indian badminton players will most likely travel via Qatar,” said BAI. Sportstar, Friday.

“BAI has written to the respective Malaysian and Singaporean associations for clarification on what will be the exact rules that will be applied to Indian badminton players when they arrive in their respective countries,” BAI continued.

Currently, only PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth and the doubles team Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are expected to qualify for the Olympics through their superior standings.

Sindhu finished in 7th place, while Prannoy was in 13th place and Chirag-Satwiksairaj in 8th place in their respective categories in the Tokyo Olympics rankings.

The top 16 badminton players according to the Race to Tokyo list to be published on June 15 will have direct Olympic berths.

Also read: KOI: Pandemic is not a barrier to winning the Olympic badminton medal

Saina and Srikanth were ranked 22nd and 20th respectively. Doubles N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa likely to compete in two Olympic qualifiers

“We have submitted travel documents for our Olympic-bound and Olympic potential players (PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth, Chirag Shetty, Satwik, Saina Nehwal, Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy) and Visa processing officials,” said BAI.

“Although there are restrictions on visa issues for Indians, except for travel activities related to sports, visas are available under certain conditions. We have contacted the Malaysian & Singapore Member Association for the required documentation. “

BAI added that it also relates to the association of the two countries.

BAI has contacted the Malaysian Federation to find out whether new quarantine regulations will be imposed on Indian players.

Under the established guidelines, all Indians entering Singapore must be quarantined for 14 days in a country other than India before being allowed to enter Singapore as an alternative. All players must maintain a 21-day quarantine in Singapore, ‘said BAI.

“As far as Malaysia is concerned, there are 14-day quarantine guidelines for the time being, meaning our players must arrive in Malaysia on May 10, 2021 to follow the protocol established by the two countries,” added BAI.

Also read: Indonesia will send 13 representatives to Malaysia Open 2021

Reporter: Arindra Meodia
Editor: Fitri Supratiwi

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