Indian shuttlers, including Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal, on Friday, questioned the rationale in the back of scheduling 22 events in just five months in a revised BWF calendar, saying the “dull” planning will increase the injury risk. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) unveiled a revised international calendar to salvage the rest of the season, disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Twenty two events in 5 months is extremely hard on the players. Firstly, there’s a question mark on international guidelines and how quarantine will happen. Don’t know the way they came up with this when the go back and forth restrictions are still in place. We all need to get back to sport but there is a large number of question mark now, we haven’t yet started practice yet,” Kashyap told PTI.
22 tournaments in 5 months from August to December 2020 .. https://t.co/brfkDO5DOY
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) May 22, 2020
London Olympic bronze medallist Saina took to Twitter to express her doubts. “22 tournaments in 5 months from August to December 2020…5 months non stop go back and forth … biggest question is what are the international guidelines of travelling throughout this #coronavirus pandemic??,” she wrote on her deal with.
She wondered how BWF had get a hold of the schedule when other sports such as Tennis still has not announced its calendar because of the global health crisis.
“Tennis didn’t even come out with any plan till October,” she wrote in another tweet. Praneeth, who is front-runner in qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, used to be equally unimpressed.
“It is dull to expect players to play 22 tournaments in five months. They aren’t thinking approximately players. BWF president is an Olympic champion, so they must have thought how can players play week after week.
“Even a fit player can’t play such a lot of tournaments, it’s going to surely lead to injuries. I did not expect this from BWF,” said Praneeth, a World Championship bronze medallist. “People are thinking of travelling less in these times, it kind of feels BWF didn’t think if players can play or not, they’re just thinking approximately themselves.
“They must have realised the Olympic qualification criteria instead of the schedule. There is still no clarity, why we can play such a lot of tournaments, at this time everyone is considering Olympics, and how will they count ranking.”
Chirag Shetty, who alongwith Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, had won the Thailand Open Super 500 and reached the finals of dressing Open Super 750, also slammed the BWF revamped calendar.
“I used to be taken by surprise that there are 22 tournaments in five months. All of them are the ones we most often play. From September till December not a unmarried week left out. Even final year we played 17-18, we played all 500, 750 and 1000 and two 300 events, although we do that in the months to come, we need to play each week. It is dull. They must have provided some break,” he said.
“Also Syed Modi event is colliding with Indonesia Super 1000, both are in the same week. So for us, we will be unable to play our home tournament because we will’t overlook a 1000 event, so it is plain stupidity. They should not have crammed up such a lot of tournament.”
With go back and forth restrictions because of the coronavirus still in place, Chirag said it has left players more at a loss for words.
“I do not believe India will start international go back and forth anytime soon, so it confuses the players. I do not believe there is any clarity. They could have taken more time to come to a decision. Main object is how they are going to unfreeze ranking and Olympic qualification,” he asked.
The top Indian shuttlers train at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad.
“We can have to wait till May 31. We can go by the central and state government directives. As of now, Talengana government has extended the lockdown till May 31 and no sports is allowed in any stadiums,” Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said.