India’s Olympic-bound shuttler, B Sai Praneeth, has decided to give the upcoming Singapore Open a skip due to the strict quarantine rules that are in place. The 28-year-old has cited the 21-day quarantine as the reason behind his decision and opines that a lack of practice will hamper his game.
The women’s doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponappa-Sikki Reddy have also withdrawn their entry. Singapore has already banned flights from India as the Covid-19 cases are on the rise.
“It’s because we have to do 21 days quarantine and you can’t play even if it is 14 days quarantine. Without practice it is very tough to play,” B Sai Praneeth said.
B Sai Praneeth seemed dejected that he’d be missing the upcoming Singapore Open. With Telangana going under lockdown from May 12, the Hyderabad-born wants to take a short break and start preparations afresh for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I was preparing from a very long time for Malaysia and Singapore. But once it got cancelled, I thought I’ll take a break and then start preparing for Olympics. I’ve already done 7 weeks of hard training so I thought I could take a break,” he said.
“The next 3 months will be tough non-stop and now that we aren’t travelling, we can train with focus,” Praneeth said.
Vaccination can’t be used as an exemption for quarantine: B Sai Praneeth
B Sai Praneeth has received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, but he doesn’t think that would reduce the travel restrictions for Indians currently.
“The vaccine status as of today can’t be used for travel or to seek exemptions for quarantine as an Indian,” he explained. “Maybe in the future, but I doubt it’ll help this early,” he added.
Many other Indian badminton players haven’t confirmed their participation in the Singapore Open that is scheduled to be played between June 1-5. However, the 21-day window for the quarantine shuts today, and more are likely to withdraw from the tournament.
B Sai Praneeth, along with P V Sindhu and the men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have already made the cut for the Tokyo Olympics.