The Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) decision to postpone the India Open 2021 has not been taken to well by the Indian badminton stars. The Super 500 tournament which was one of the last three qualifying events for the Tokyo Olympic Games in July, was scheduled for 11-16 May 2021. However, the sharp spike in COVID-19 cases amidst the second wave caused the postponement.
The decision has sparked disappointment due to the fact that there would only be two more qualifying events left due to the postponement. Thus, the likes of Saina Nehwal and Srikanth Kidambi have only these two to depend on to make their way to the all-important games. BAI secretary Ajay Singhania had acknowledged this fact while announcing the postponement as well, stating that they had no other choice.
Parupalli Kashyap expresses disappointment
Parupalli Kashyap spoke to Sportstar about the decision to postpone the India Open and said, “It is really upsetting that the Delhi event is postponed. We are obviously helpless but again we do have serious doubts whether anyone cares for the players when they take these decisions.”
“Ideally, our calculations were that if Saina were to make it to the quarters in two of the three, her chances of making the cut for Olympics are very bright. Now, it has come to two out of two and it is not going to be easy and I strongly believe no one cares about the players getting fair chances of qualifying for the Games,” he added.
“Definitely, the conditions because of the pandemic are bad but again when IPL and tennis can go on, a way should be found out to ensure the Olympic qualifying events are held on schedule. Now all we can do is to hope at least the Malaysian and the Singapore Opens will be held on schedule,” he signed off.
Srikanth Kidambi on the other hand, still expressed hope saying, “It’s still not over for me, though. If I can manage a semifinal finish in Malaysia and a quarterfinal in Singapore, that’ll be good for my qualification chances. Of course, that’s assuming these competitions will take place at all.”