Saina Nehwal is one of the eight Olympic hopefuls who are allowed by the Sports Authority of India, resumed training at the academy from 7th August. Following the Telangana government’s approval on 1 August, she has resumed training at a separate facility in Hyderabad.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games medallist, is currently training with P. Kashyap, her husband. R. M. V. Gurusaidutt is also likely to join the national camp at the SAI Gopichand academy in two weeks.
“We have been training at a centre near the Gopichand academy for a week now. It is a small facility. We started with the basics as it was after a long time that we were hitting the court.” Kashyap, a former Commonwealth Games champion, told PTI.
“Saina has just joined. She will probably start training at the Gopichand academy in a couple of weeks and wants to get fitter and reach a decent level. She has sought the permission of Gopi sir and discussed it with new Indonesian coach Agus Dwi Santoso.” he added.
Limited players available
“Out of eight players, Chirag [Shetty], Satwik [Rankireddy] and Ashwini [Ponnappa] are not in Hyderabad right now so basically only four-five players are training. There are nine courts and players generally train for an hour or two, so I think few more players can be allowed to train there,” the London Olympics quarterfinalist said.
“Since badminton is not a contact sport it can be done. In Bangalore, everyone is training and you need good sparring partners. How long can just eight players train?” Kashyap said.
Before deciding whether or not to join the camp, the men’s doubles pair of Chirag and Satwiksairaj – currently in Mumbai and Amalapuram (Andhra Pradesh) respectively – are wary of the COVID-19 threat and will wait for another couple of weeks.
If there is clarity on the international calendar, Women’s doubles player Ashwini, who partners Sikki in the international circuit can join.
The Bangalore-based shuttler is currently training at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy. Doubles specialist B. Sumeeth Reddy and Kashyap are also based out of Hyderabad.
Also read: Badminton at Atlanta Olympics 1996