The Indian badminton team left for Thailand on Sunday to compete in consecutive BWF World Tour Super 1000 events. The contingent includes Olympic aspirants Kidambi Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth and Saina Nehwal as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic had brought all sporting activities in India to a halt. So, it will be the first major tournament for the entire squad in the last nine months except Kidambi who had participated in Denmark’s Super 750 in October.
PV Sindhu will also fly out of London on Sunday to play her first major tournament since the break induced by COVID-19. She will reach Bangkok via Doha.
SaarLorLux Super 100 was the only event other than the Denmark Open that was held last year as the BWF had to suspend the calendar after the All England Championships concluded in March.
As the world’s best players return to action once again, all eyes will be on the two Super 1000 events — Yonex Thailand Open (January 12-17) and Toyota Thailand Open (January 19-24).
Olympic-bound men’s pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are also there in the team, along with doubles exponents Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy.
“After a long wait we get back on court soon at Thailand Open!!! excited much,” wrote Satwiksairaj on instagram along with a picture of the squad.
H S Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap, Sameer Verma, Dhruv Kapila, Manu Attri were others who set off for Bangkok from Hyderabad via Dubai on Saturday.
“First tournament after a long time… looking forward to the tournament… Thailand Open 2021,” Kashyap wrote along with a picture of him and wife Saina.
Singles foreign coaches Agus Dwi Santoso and Park Tae Sang and doubles coach Dwi Kristiawan have also travelled with the team along with other support staff. The entire country will be hopeful of excellent results from the Indian shuttlers in these events.