It was earlier in October that star shuttler PV Sindhu announced quitting the national camp and training in UK ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next year. While former No.1 badminton player Kidambi Srikanth resumed play in October in the Denmark Open, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will return to action, for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, in January.
But Sindhu, who is in the UK, is amid the travel restrictions in the country after several nations, including India, have imposed travel bans because of a new mutant virus. However, the 25-year-old, who last competed in March in the All England Championship, is confident of playing in Thailand next month.
“I plan to travel in the first week of January There is no travel ban from UK in Thailand, so I can travel from Doha. The idea is to use the Gulf route to reach Thailand,” Sindhu told PTI in an interview.
“Thankfully, my training is going on pretty well. The national center is not closed. It is run as a bubble center, so I have been able to practice ahead of the events in Thailand,” Sindhu said.
PV Sindhu and 7 other Olympic hopefuls from India are set to commence their campaign with Yonex Thailand Open, scheduled from January 12-17, to be followed by Toyota Thailand Open (January 19-24), and end with the BWF World Tour Finals (January 27-31). The Badminton Association of India (BAI), on Monday, have announced an 8-player squad, including Sindhu and Nehwal, that will feature in 3 upcoming sporting events scheduled in January 2021.
“Cases in Thailand are also increasing, so there is uncertainty about Thailand event too, we really hope that things are under control and the event goes ahead. We need badminton to restart just like other sports,” said Yashwanth Biyyala, Director Athlete at Baseline Ventures.
Sindhu will be accompanied by her personal physio and fitness trainer across the 3 tournaments in 2021, as her request was approved by the Sports Ministry.
(Inputs from PTI)