Badminton

Why am I not in national camp, asks Parupalli Kashyap

Posted on 26 Aug 2020 03:30:12 GMT - badminton

Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap on Tuesday questioned his omission from the ongoing national badminton camp in Hyderabad, saying that restricting it to just eight Olympic hopefuls is "illogical".

The 33-year-old, a former world no.6, insisted that he too has an outside chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Games but he has no way to pursue it as he can't train at the camp.

"I have a couple of questions regarding the camp. I find it illogical to allow only 8 people to train. Also, how are these 8, Olympic hopefuls because I think only 3 have almost confirmed their slot and rest have an outside chance including Srikanth and the women's doubles pair," Kashyap told PTI.

"I am ranked 23rd in the world ranking after Sai (B Sai Praneeth) and (Kidambi) Srikanth, then why haven't I been considered," he asked. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) had allowed resumption of training at the SAI-Pullela Gopichand Academy from August 7 following the Telangana government's approval on August 1.

Kashyap, who along with wife and fellow shuttler Saina Nehwal, has been training at a separate facility near the academy, said he shared his thoughts with SAI but didn't get a satisfactory response.

"Gopi bhaiya (Pullela Gopichand) advised me to speak to SAI as they made the list. So I spoke to SAI DG and asked him what is the logic behind it? Why am I not in the camp? Who decided that we don't have a chance to qualify when 7-8 tournaments are still left," he said.

"A day later, a SAI assistant director called me and said this is a directive which has come from higher officials and they have spoken to BAI and SAI, who believe only these people have a chance to qualify which I found to be strange," he added.

"I was told that only 8 people will train till the Tokyo Games to keep the Olympic hopefuls safe. Now no one is staying at the centre, all are using gyms at different centres, they are meeting people outside, so I don't understand their explanation of keeping them safe."

Kashyap reiterated that the SAI Pullela Gopichand academy is equipped with enough courts to accommodate more players.

"The national centre has nine courts and currently only four people are training. There are 9 coaches and two physios for four players who are training for a maximum of two and a half hours.

"So rest of the time the court is empty. Why can't other players train for the rest of the time? It makes no sense to me," he said.

"Everywhere else all are training together, in Bangalore, Lakshya (Sen), who also has an outside chance like me, is training with the rest. If I can't train at the camp, how will I pursue Olympic qualification?"

World champion P V Sindhu, along with B Sai Praneeth, former world no.1 Kidambi Srikanth and women's doubles player N Sikki Reddy have resumed training under strict safety protocols at the Gopichand Academy, ending a four-month-long coronavirus-forced hiatus.

Among other Olympic hopefuls, the men's doubles pairing of Chirag and Satwiksairaj, who are currently in Mumbai and Amalapuram (Andhra Pradesh) respectively, are wary of the COVID-19 threat and have decided to wait for a few more days before deciding on joining the camp.

Women's doubles player Ponnappa, who partners Sikki in the international circuit, will join if there is enough clarity on the international calendar. The Bangalore-based shuttler is currently training at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy.

India's next assignment is the twice-rescheduled Thomas and Uber Cup Finals which is slated to be held from October 3 to 11 in Aarhus, Denmark.

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Parupalli Kashyap: Don't see events happening before there's a COVID-19 vaccine

Posted on 21 Aug 2020 07:10:26 GMT - badminton

The national camp for badminton players is currently underway at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad and ever since it has started, it has seen its fair share of ups and downs. For starters, doubles specialist N Sikki Reddy and a physio tested positive for COVID-19, only to test negative two days later and return to the camp. The positive test had led to the academy being closed down for two days and being sanitised. Moreover, while eight athletes were named in the list for the camp, only three are currently taking part in it while the rest are training in their own capacities in various cities across the country.

Men's singles star Parupalli Kashyap has told IANS that he doesn't see the harm in allowing other top players to train in the academy. "They (SAI) have basically allowed three or four players to train. Players train for about two or three hours a day and the rest of the time, the courts are empty anyway. So now why don't they allow another five to ten players who are the top players to train also at different timings?" Kashyap asked.

In keeping with the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for restarting national camps amid the pandemic, only those athletes who stand a chance of qualifying for the postponed Tokyo Olympics have been called up. Off these, Chirag Shetty is training in Mumbai while his doubles partner Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is in Andhra Pradesh. Sikki's doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa is training in Bengaluru while Kashyap said that his wife Saina Nehwal is planning to join the camp in the coming weeks.

"Saina is training with me in a different place right now," he said. "I don't know when competitions start. I don't see that happening unless there is a vaccine for COVID-19. There are a lot of factors such as travel and immigration laws that are varying according to the country.

"But obviously we want to keep ourselves in some sort of shape and train in the safest way possible. I think normal safety can be maintained in a centre that has around seven or eight players training in it," he added.

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Shuttler N Sikki Reddy, physiotherapist Kiran C test COVID-19 positive

Posted on 14 Aug 2020 02:04:42 GMT - badminton

Shuttler N Sikki Reddy and physiotherapist Kiran C have tested positive for COVID-19 at the ongoing national camp, forcing the closure of the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad for sanitisation, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said on Thursday. Women's doubles specialist Sikki and Kiran, who have been attending the national camp at the academy, are both asymptomatic, according to a SAI statement.

They had undergone the SAI's mandatory COVID-19 test for players, coaches and support staff before the start of training on August 7 at the facility. "SAI's mandatory COVID test was given to all athletes, coaches, support staff and administrative staff at the badminton national camp, and two campers have tested positive for COVID-19," chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said.

"All necessary precautions as per protocol are being taken so that players can come back for training safely and as soon as possible." Both Sikki and Kiran are from Hyderabad and have been attending the camp from their homes.

The academy has been closed down for sanitisation and all primary contacts of Sikki and Kiran are undergoing the RT PCR test again. The badminton camp was allowed by SAI for eight Olympic hopefuls, including Rio Games silver-medallist and world champion PV Sindhu, following the approval from the Telangana government on August 1.

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PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and 6 others shuttlers to resume training in Hyderabad

Posted on 7 Aug 2020 05:39:57 GMT - badminton

The national badminton camp for eight Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopefuls, including P.V. Sindhu, will resume from Friday at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. The decision was taken by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) after clearance for the camp was received from the Telangana government on August 1 allowing resumption of sporting activities from August 5. Apart from Sindhu, the seven other athletes who will resume training at the academy include Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa, Sai Praneeth, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj and N. Sikki Reddy.

Speaking about the resumption, national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said, "I am very happy to have our elite shuttlers back for on-field training after this long break. We are fully equipped to resume training in a safe environment."

To ensure complete safety of athletes and proper social distancing norms during the training, the academy has been divided into colour zones wherein only athlete and coaches will be allowed to access the green zone, or the field of play, while there are different zones earmarked for support staff and administrative staff who will have no access to the field of play, said SAI.

The training will be conducted in keeping with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) drawn up by SAI, alongside the state government's regulations, it added.

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Asian Games medal-winner Sukant Kadam playing without 9 months salary

Posted on 31 Jul 2020 01:55:10 GMT - badminton

INDIA'S World No. 5 para badminton champion Sukant Kadam is a Sports Authority of India Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) athlete. However, Kadam, 27, a Taluka Sports Officer (TSO) for the last two years in Maharashtra's Sangli district, has been struggling financially. He is awaiting his salary for a period of nine months during which he attended National camps and was playing international tournaments (between April and December last year).

Knee problem Kadam, who suffered a serious left knee injury, restricting his movement while playing tennis-ball cricket at the age of 10, studied to become a Mechanical Engineer. He developed an interest in badminton under the guidance of Pune-based coach and Olympian Nikhil Kanetkar.

Also Read: Ace para-badminton Ramesh Tikaram player dies of COVID-19

Kadam is classified in the SL4 injury category of para badminton, began last year winning gold at IWAS (International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports) World Games in Sharjah in February. He then won bronze at the Turkish Para-Badminton International in Antalya in March. In April, he won a bronze at the Dubai International followed by a silver in Uganda. The following month he clinched a bronze at the Canada International and then another third place medal in June at the Irish International. However, while he was winning medals abroad, back home he was not receiving his salary. "In 2019, I got my salary for the first three months till March but thereafter, while I was away, I was not paid from April to December. During that period, I was also at the National camp preparing for my Tokyo Paralympics qualification. I met then state Sports Minister Vinod Tawde to help get my dues," Kadam told mid-day from Sangli.

Sukant Kadam (left) with state sports minister Sunil Kedar at his Mantralaya office in January
Sukant Kadam (left) with state sports minister Sunil Kedar at his Mantralaya office in January 

Interestingly, being a bronze medalist at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia, Kadam is eligible for a Class One officer [in the rank of Deputy Collector] post, but despite approaching the state authorities, he continues to hold a Class Two TSO position which was given to him after his bronze medal win at the 2016 Asian Para Badminton Championship in China.

"As per the state government's regulations, a bronze medalist in the Asian Para Games or Paralympics is eligible for a Class One job. So, when I won the bronze in Indonesia in 2018, I applied for the Class One post of Deputy Collector. However, for the last two years, I've been following up with the authorities, but without success. A few months ago, I met Maharashtra's Sports Minister Sunil Kedar and his deputy, Aditi Tatkare and told them my problems," explained Kadam, who is currently practising with former National player Dhiraj Kumar in Sangli.

Minister clueless

Sports minister Kedar however, feigned ignorance when asked about Kadam's case. "He has not written anything to me… nothing at all. He has not even met me. I always prefer to sort out such problems immediately and never keep any issues pending. If he is a Taluka Sports Officer, his issue of [pending] salary should be solved at the District Sports Officer or Deputy Director of Sports level," Kedar said.

Kadam, though, showed us photographs with Kedar and also a signed letter by the minister.

Sukant can win an Olympic medal, says coach Nikhil Kanetkar

Sukant Kadam's coach Nikhil Kanetkar believes his ward is good enough to win an Olympic medal at the Tokyo Paralympics next year. Kadam was training hard earlier this year, preparing for the 2020 Games's qualification tournament that was to be held in Spain from March 9, before the Coronavirus-caused lockdown halted sports worldwide. "Sukant is World No. 5 and must enter the Olympic qualifying tournaments with the mindset of winning it. He definitely stands a good chance of winning a medal in Tokyo because he has achieved so much international success," said Kanetkar, who represented the country at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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Rio Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin's father Gonzalo passes away

Posted on 28 Jul 2020 05:56:26 GMT - badminton

Rio Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin has lost her father Gonzalo Marin Perez, who had met with an accident in February. According to the Spanish Badminton Federation (FESBA), Marin's father passed away in the early hours of Sunday.

"The Spanish Badminton Federation wishes to express its regret at the death of Gonzalo Marin Perez, father of Carolina Marin. After a long period of struggle since he suffered an accident in February, Gonzalo has not been able to overcome the consequences of it, dying at dawn on Sunday, July 26," FESBA wrote on its website in Spanish.

"The Spanish badminton extends its support to Carolina Marin and all her family in these difficult moments," it added.

Last month, the 27-year-old Olympic gold medallist had resumed training and her eyes are set on defending her gold medal at the Tokyo Games which have been postponed by an year due to COVID-19 pandemic.

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Turning point for me was when I beat Li Xuerui in 2012: PV Sindhu

Posted on 27 Jul 2020 07:53:07 GMT - badminton

World champion shuttler PV Sindhu has been making most of the time away from the game by developing new skills at home.

During a freewheeling chat with paddler Mudit Dani on his live online chat show 'In the Sportlight', the Olympic silver medallist said she has been picking up new skills as she continues to train at home and is having a relaxed time with her family amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I have been learning a few things, like I paint nowadays. I am also cooking and baking. It's really interesting because earlier it was always badminton, but now you are learning different stuff which are creative," said Sindhu.

This was the 16th episode of the Instagram chat series 'In The Sportlight' started by 21-year-old fast-rising Indian paddler Dani, who has already hosted Abhinav Bindra, Leander Paes, Vijender Singh, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, among others. The next guest would be champion wrestler Bajrang Punia.

Persistence is the second name for Sindhu, which is perhaps most evident in the way she never gave up her dream of becoming a world champion since winning her first bronze medal at the prestigious event in 2013. However, Sindhu feels her win against 2012 Olympic champion Li Xuerui was a turning point in her career.

"The turning point for me was when I beat Li Xuerui in 2012. She was the Olympic champion at that point of time and I beat her at the quarterfinals (of China Masters)," reminisced the star shuttler, adding that it boosted her confidence by miles and made her work harder than ever.

A big fan of 2004 Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat's backhand and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan's style of play, Sindhu still fondly remembers a surprise gift she received from one of her devoted fans upon her arrival from the Rio Olympics, which was his one-month salary.

"It was so touching that I remember it even today. I wrote him a letter and sent him some money," said the World No. 7.

The 25-year-old also spoke of the importance of support for rising stars to excel. Support from the ecosystem like Khelo India is as much essential as support from the parents was her parting message in the show.

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Shuttler PV Sindhu finds painting 'interesting' amid lockdown

Posted on 27 Jul 2020 01:51:46 GMT - badminton

India badminton star PV Sindhu is making the most of the forced break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by learning new skills like painting, cooking and baking.

Speaking to table tennis player Mudit Dani on his chat show, In The SportLight, Sindhu said she finds it interesting to learn creative things which have kept her busy amid the lockdown.

Watch the video below.

"I have been learning a few things; like I paint nowadays. I am also cooking and baking. It's really interesting because earlier, it was always badminton, but now you are learning different stuff which, is creative," said the World No. 7, who is a big fan of 2004 Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat's backhand and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan's style of play.

Sindhu recalled how a fan on her arrival in Hyderabad from Rio Olympics presented her with a month's salary for her exploits at the mega event. "It was so touching that I remember it even today. I wrote him a letter and sent him some money," added Sindhu.

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Saina Nehwal serves 'perfect' love mantra with hubby Parupalli Kashyap

Posted on 23 Jul 2020 01:49:53 GMT - badminton

India badminton star Saina Nehwal dished out the perfect love advice for her 1.4 million Instagram followers. She recently posted this picture (right) with hubby Parupalli Kashyap and wrote: "You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not." The post received 45,811 'likes'.

Saina got married to fellow shuttler Kashyap at Hyderabad in December 2018.

 
 
 
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A post shared by NEHWAL SAINA (@nehwalsaina) onJul 20, 2020 at 6:12am PDT

In an Instagram post last year, Saina had said why she kept her relationship with Kashyap under wraps for long. "I'm from Haryana and he is from Hyderabad, and inter-community marriages are still quite rare in our country, which is why we had to hide our relationship for the longest time. It's sad that societal barriers like community, religion, gender and age still become a reason for people to give up on their relationships," said Saina.

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Jwala Gutta surprises boyfriend Vishnu Vishal on his birthday

Posted on 18 Jul 2020 06:16:14 GMT - badminton

India badminton star Jwala Gutta travelled from Hyderabad to Chennai to be with actor boyfriend Vishnu Vishal on his 36th birthday. The shuttler reportedly followed all safety procedures in the midst of COVID-19-caused lockdown.

 
 
 
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Happiest birthday baby ❤ï¸Â Keep shining ☀ï¸Â

A post shared by Jwala Gutta (@jwalagutta1) onJul 17, 2020 at 12:09am PDT

On Friday, she Instagrammed the picture for her 361,000 followers and captioned it: "Happiest birthday baby. Keep shining." Meanwhile, Vishnu shared a candid picture for his 657,000 Instagram followers and wrote: "My bday surprise...@gutta_jwala." The couple have been dating since last year.

 
 
 
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My bday suprise...😁 @gutta_jwala

A post shared by vishnu vishal (@iamvishnuuvishal) onJul 16, 2020 at 12:59pm PDT

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Ace para-badminton Ramesh Tikaram player dies of COVID-19

Posted on 17 Jul 2020 07:35:52 GMT - badminton

Arjuna awardee and ace para-badminton player Ramesh Tikaram died of coronavirus in a hospital here on Thursday, Para-Badminton India president N C Sudhir said. "We are sorry to inform you that Ramesh Tikaram passed away this afternoon..." Sudhir said in a statement. 

Talking to PTI, he said the 51-year-old player, who had fever and cough, was admitted to a private hospital on June 29. The player is survived by wife and two children, said Sudhir.

One of the sportsman's friend K Y Venkatesh said Tikaram was instrumental in bringing the international para- badminton tournament to the country in 2001. 

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See Photo: Here's what Jwala Gutta loves to do when she's dressed up during lockdown!

Posted on 8 Jul 2020 07:10:04 GMT - badminton

India badminton star Jwala Gutta is one of the most active sports stars on social media sites, mainly Instagram. During the nationwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, 

The 36-year-old Indian badminton player recently took to photo sharing website Instagram to post this picture and she caption it: "When dressed...take a selfie #lockdownlife."

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

When dressed...take a selfie 🤳🏼😛 #lockdown #lockdownlife

A post shared by Jwala Gutta (@jwalagutta1) onJul 6, 2020 at 6:12am PDT

Last month, Jwala Gutta's mother celebrated her birthday on June 4, and Jwala took to Instagram to share a photo of her family - mother, father and sister - also wishing her mom on her bid day. She lovingly captioned it, "Happy birthdayyyyy to the head of our family...my mom...the strongest woman I know!! We love you!!"

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

Happy birthdayyyyy to the head of our family...my mom...the strongest woman I know!! 🥳 We love you!! ❤ï¸ÂðŸ˜˜

A post shared by Jwala Gutta (@jwalagutta1) onJun 3, 2020 at 9:05pm PDT

Jwala Gutta is a bronze medallist at the world championships. She has also won a gold, 2 silver and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games, 5 gold medals at the South Asian Games and 1 bronze medal at the Asian championships. Jwala is famously known for her doubles tournament career and mainly for her partnership with Ashwini Ponnappa.

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