The nine-member Indian badminton contingent will leave for the Tokyo Olympics on July 17. All nine members of the squad, including four players, will first reach Delhi from Hyderabad on Saturday afternoon.
After reaching Delhi, the team will catch a late evening flight to Tokyo. The badminton competition at the Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to take place between July 24 and August 2. The postponed Summer Games will be inaugurated on July 23.
Rio Olympics silver medalist PV Sindhu, men’s singles player B Sai Praneeth and the men’s doubles combination of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are currently training under their respective coaches in Hyderabad.
Five support staff will accompany the players. Sindhu’s coach Park Tae-Sang of South Korea, Sai Praneeth’s coach Agus Dwi Santosa of Indonesia and doubles coach Mathias Boe of Denmark are part of the team. Physiotherapists Sumansh Sivalanka and Evangeline Baddam are the other two members.
Badminton contingent will be part of first batch to Tokyo
The badminton contingent will be part of the first batch of Indian athletes and officials to leave for the Japanese capital. According to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the men’s and women’s hockey teams and the archery and swimming contingents are also scheduled to fly out on July 17.
The Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics will leave in batches. Except for the first batch, the other dates are yet to be finalized. As per the Games protocol, athletes can enter Tokyo only five days before their event and leave no later than 48 hours following their competition.
Sindhu’s physiotherapist Evangeline Baddam said the ace shuttler is in fine shape and raring to go. Baddam, who will be going to her first Olympics, said:
“Sindhu is perfectly fine. We got the final travel plans for Tokyo today. We are leaving from Hyderabad to Delhi on Saturday. The Tokyo flight from Delhi is at 11 pm. We all are excited for the Olympics."
The Badminton Association of India (BAI)'s top officials are likely to meet the players and coaches in New Delhi before they depart for Tokyo. Speaking to Sportskeeda on Monday, BAI general secretary Ajay Kumar Singhania said:
“We are planning to meet them all personally and wish them luck. However, because of the strict COVID-19 protocols, we are not sure whether we will be allowed to meet them or not. If we are permitted, some of the BAI officials would certainly like to honor the team members and give them a proper send-off."
As per the Games norms, all athletes traveling to Tokyo from India will have to quarantine for a few days. The badminton venue of the Olympics will be open for practise for players from July 19.