The novel Coronavirus pandemic may have worried a number of badminton players and teams from participating in the upcoming Thomas and Uber Cup, but not Malvika Bansod. The Indian shuttler is all confident about her maiden Uber Cup appearance, and remains undaunted regarding any COVID trouble.
Despite the fact that world sports in the country resumed after months of lock down, a handsome number of athletes and teams have made the decision to call it quits from upcoming tournaments, keeping in mind the threat from the virus.
While Indian shuttling ace PV Sindhu reverted her decision about the tournament, doubles stars Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy chose to opt out from the Thomas and Uber Cup, starting 3rd October in Aarhus, Denmark. Several countries such as South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand have also announced their exit from the event.
Be that as it may, the 18 year old prodigy Malvika, who is the current seeded no. 2 in BAI (Badminton Association of India) Rankings, is all excited about her first time call up for the prestigious Uber Cup, and is completely breezy about the COVID situation.
It is great to represent the country: pandemic isn’t stopping Malvika Bansod from taking part in Uber Cup
As badminton returns to action after almost five months, Malvika Bansod is eager about her maiden call up for the tournament. So eager in fact, the pandemic possesses little concern to the youngster.
“There have been so many months without action, so I am actually really excited about the tour. I am not too bothered (about the COVID threat),” Malvika spoke to PTI.
“It is the first time that I have been called for Uber Cup, so I am very happy. I have been able to train for the last couple of months,” the teenager went on, “I had sessions with junior India coach Sanjay Mishra sir after the lockdown was lifted. So I am in good shape.”
“I was not expecting a call but my ranking in India is No. 2 behind Akarshi Kashyap. So I was hopeful. It is great to represent the country,” she added.
Malvika, who hails from Nagpur, had a stellar run last year, winning the Maldives International Future Series, followed by the Nepal International Series in September 2019, which earned her a ticket to Denmark. In 2018, she won the Yuva Bhushan Award by the Nag Bhushan Foundation.
She continued, “I have seen the draw. I can’t say if it was easy or tough but we are playing China, France and Germany and it is a good draw. I just hope to find my best form and play well for the country.”
However, Malvika’s training at the national badminton camp is yet to begin. The camp, held at the held the SAI-Gopichand National Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, is currently facing some dilemma from kicking off, as the quarantine rules have created some difference of opinions between Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the athletes.
“We were told that the camp will start on September 7, and so accordingly, I got my COVID test done and, thankfully, it was negative. They had asked us to wait until further instruction,” Malvika informed.