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We are the best players in the world: Saina Nehwal lashes out on BWF

We are the best players in the world: Saina Nehwal lashes out on BWF

The Bridge Desk

Published: 6 Jan 2021 5:48 AM GMT

Indian ace shuttler and Olympic bronze medallist, Saina Nehwal has lashed out at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for denying the athletes, among other things, access to trainers and physios ahead of the upcoming Thailand Open tournaments in Bangkok. The Thailand Open, which starts on January 12 in Bangkok is set to be the first tournament she plays since the All England Open in March last year.

In a series of tweets, Olympics bronze-medallist Saina expressed her displeasure at the restrictions imposed by BWF as part of its Covid-19 protocols for the bio-security bubble.

“The physios and trainers cannot meet us during the entire tour after all of us have tested negative? 4 weeks of this how is it possible to maintain ourselves. We want to play the tournament in good condition. Please sort this @bwfmedia,” Saina tweeted.

With March being the cut-off date for Tokyo Olympics qualification, Saina is worried that the lack of proper training might have an impact on her performance. The former world No. 1 said she tried contacting the BWF, but to no avail.

"Practice only for an hour everyday for the entire team? Gym timings the same... considering March being the important Olympic qualification period this is not good enough to be in good shape @bwfmedia," she said in her second post.

Also read: With China, Japan pulling out – what are India’s chances at Thailand Open?

Saina said that players should have been informed earlier if they are not allowed to interact with their support staff for the duration of their stay in Thailand.

Singles foreign coaches Agus Dwi Santoso and Park Tae Sang and doubles coach Dwi Kristiawan along with support staff consisting of Kiran Challagundla, Johnson, Evangelina Baddam and M. Srikanth have travelled to Bangkok with the players.

"No Time for warm ups/taping/cool downs/stretches... we are talking about the best players in the world competing isn't it? We've spent a lot of money getting the physios and trainers along with us. If they can't help us then why was this not told before ? @bwfmedia," she said.

Under the protocols of bio-bubble, all nations had been permitted two 1-hr slots on courtroom in morning and night. BWF clarified that the identical guidelines utilized to everybody: “The Prospect clearly states that all athletes and personnel here in the Green Bubble in Bangkok must stay in their room until practice commences tomorrow on 6 January. It is a condition of entry that everyone follows this. Today, around midday Bangkok time, Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) and BWF got a request from Saina Nehwal via BAI seeking permission for Saina Nehwal to see her physio. BAT informed BAI and Saina Nehwal of the protocol in the Prospectus and informed her that there is a procedure in place to allow athletes to see their physios in their rooms only once practice has commenced tomorrow on 6 January. A special procedure/appointment is still needed for any personnel to leave their room to go to the Practice Hall, or in the case of a physio, visit the athlete they treat.”

Also read: Exclusive: After a welcome break, Ashwini Ponnappa all set to chase her goals in 2021

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