As India slowly eased into the unlock phase of the novel Coronavirus lock down, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had announced the initiation of different camps regarding different sports. While several other camps have already kicked off, the badminton camp is still facing delay to start. The reason behind this hindrance, is the clash of opinions between players and SAI officials on the duration of the quarantine period between COVID-19 tests.
The national badminton camp, aimed for the upcoming Thomas & Uber Cup in October, was announced to kick off from 7th September, as SAI gave the green signal to 26 shuttlers, including the likes of Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, to resume their training.
The camp, held the SAI-Gopichand National Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, is supposed to run until 27th September, a week before the tournament starts in Aarhus, Denmark from 3rd October.
However, two days have passed, and the training in the camp is yet to set forth. The players, who were tested upon their arrival at the camp, will have to return a second negative test after a six days quarantine period.
On the other hand, the athletes themselves want lesser number of quarantine days before the second test. As the team announcement is on 17th September, and almost a week long isolation period before that without any training or trials is a no-go for them.
Six day quarantine period at badminton camp not acceptable for the players
“It is quite frustrating because I have wanted to train for the last couple of days but could not,” an incognito player spoke to Hindustan times, “If this was two months away from a tournament I would be okay but not now, especially when there’s hardly been any proper training. Will we send a team without any training then?”
Remaining outside the court for six days is seeming detrimental for the players, especially before the Thomas & Uber Cup.
“We will be back to square one and will have to start from scratch. This is top international level badminton we are talking about. You can’t just stop and start whenever you wish,” the anonymous athlete went on, “We want to keep training. If we go into quarantine, what’s the point of this camp?”
Another unnamed player added that a formal request has been submitted to SAI, who are yet to give any update to their appeal.