New Delhi [India], September 6 (ANI): Badminton Association of India (BAI) Secretary Ajay Singhania said he is grateful to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) as the association received a go-ahead for the proposed national badminton camp.
"With most of the players have been out of touch and away from active badminton for more than five months now. It was important to conduct a national camp ahead of the Thomas and Uber Cup, hence it was decided to go ahead with the preparatory camp," Singhania said in a statement.
"We are grateful to SAI for helping with the camp and all the support in creating a safe and secure environment for the players and support staff. This camp will give our shuttlers a much-needed time to get back the required momentum and prepare themselves ahead of the final selection," he added.
26 Indian shuttlers will prepare themselves for the upcoming Thomas and Uber Cup after SAI gave the go-ahead for the proposed national badminton camp by chief national coach Pullela Gopichand on behalf of the BAI.
The camp will take place at Pullela Gopichand SAI Badminton Academy in Hyderabad from September 7 and will continue till September 27. The Thomas and Uber Cup is scheduled to take place in Aarhus, Denmark from October 3 to 11. The final team selection is on September 17.
After a detailed consultation with SAI, the decision was taken that all the players joining the camp will stay and play at the academy itself to thereby ensure greater safety for players and support staff. Strict implementation of the standard operating procedures as per the protocol, charted by SAI to create a safety and secured environment amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for the players will be followed.
The camp will provide a chance for the youngsters also to showcase their potential ahead of the team selection.
Men's category includes Sai Praneeth, P Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth along with Lakshya Sen, Manu Atri, Shubhankar Dey, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila. While doubles players will be lead by the pair of Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponappa in women's doubles, it will be Saina Nehwal who will be heading the women's singles along with Ashmita Chaliha, Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansode and youngsters like Ira Sharma will also be seen training in the camp along with seven coaches, four support staff and three sparring partners.
All the players, coaches, and support staff will have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 before they travel to Hyderabad and would only be allowed in the academy, once they produce a COVID-19 negative certificate.
Once they are at the academy, they will be isolated and tested again on the sixth day of the quarantine and would only be allowed in the field of play once they have cleared the second round of the COVID-19 test.
SAI officials will educate players and staff on the process to be followed and necessary precautions to be taken during the course of their stay at the academy. (ANI)