Olympic Bronze-medalist Saina Nehwal isn’t happy with the restrictions put in place by the Badminton World Federation to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand. According to her, the players were told that they cannot meet their physios and trainers and that’s why she has expressed her concern regarding the fitness of their players.
The former world no.1 has posted a number of messages on social media calling out the COVID-19 regulations put in place by the tournament organizers and has also asked for the intervention of the BWF.
Nehwal, who had won Bronze at the 2012 Olympics, will represent India at the YONEX Thailand Open set to run between January 12 and 17.
It is the first in a series of three events set to take place in Bangkok this month. This will be followed by the Toyota Thailand Open between January 19 and 24, and the BWF World Tour finals afterwards between January 27 and 31.
Nehwal addressed how important this period is going to be for the players as they would be looking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. However, she also measured that the protocols put in place to deal with the pandemic will affect the players’ fitness.
“The physios and trainers cannot meet us during the entire tour after all of us having tested negative,” Nehwal wrote on Twitter.
“Four weeks of this.
“How is it possible to maintain ourselves?
“We want to play the tournament in good condition.
“Please see this (BWF),” she continued.
Nehwal also couldn’t accept the time that was given to them for practice. She mentioned that the organizers had given them just one hour everyday for the entire team and gym timings were the same as well.
“No time for warm-ups, taping, cool downs and stretches,” Nehwal wrote.
“We are talking about the best players in the world competing.
“We’ve spent a lot of money getting the physios and trainers along with us.
“If they can’t help us then why was this not told (to us) before?”
The BWF also came out with a statement. According to them, they had already sent a prospectus to the Badminton Association of India (BAI). The rules mentioned in there stated that the players need to be in there room until they returned with a negative test and practice commenced on January 6.
The Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) had reportedly reiterated this to Nehwal when she approached them to meet her physio on January 5. But she still went on to post her issues on social media.