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Sports Shorts: Saina, Kashyap pull out of Denmark Open

October 06, 2020 12:16 IST
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Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Tuesday

Saina Nehwal

IMAGE: Saina Nehwal with husband P Kashyap. Photograph: Saina Nehwal/Twitter

Star Indian badminton couple Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap, on Tuesday, pulled out of the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament, which will restart the international calendar at Odense from October 13.

The BWF World Tour was shut down following the completion of the All England Championships in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

"I withdrew from Denmark Open. I decided that I will start the season from January only with the Asian tour," Saina, the London Olympics bronze-medallist, said.

The husband-wife duo had earlier sent their entries for the USD 750,000 tournament and also submitted their consent letter to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) last month for the same.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) postponed the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals (Oct 3-11), three events in Asia (in November) to 2021 and also cancelled the Denmark Masters (Oct 20-25).

The Denmark Open is thus the only World Tour event scheduled to be held in the remainder of the season.

Asked if she has any fitness concerns, Saina, a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, said, "There is no injury issue but if three tournaments were there it would have made sense... I thought directly from January, I can go for the Asian tour."

The withdrawal of former world No 1 Saina, one of the Olympic hopefuls for next year's Tokyo Games, means there will be no Indian participation in the women's singles event at Odense as world champion P V Sindhu has already pulled out.

Kashyap, currently ranked world No 24, also decided to skip the event for similar reasons.

"I too feel it is not worth the risk to go all the way for one tournament. It is better to start the season afresh participating in the Asia leg from January," the London Games quarterfinalist said.

According to the adjusted international calendar, Badminton World Federation had planned to host three back-to-back events in Denmark -- Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, Denmark Open and Denmark Masters.

This was to be followed by three successive events in Asia, including the World Tour Finals.

However, BWF decided to postpone the Thomas and Uber Cup to 2021 after top teams withdrew due to COVID-19 pandemic and also cancelled the Denmark Masters.

The apex body also deferred the Asia leg to January due to the current circumstances.

Former world no.1 Kidambi Srikanth, young Lakshya Sen, Ajay Jayaram and Subhankar Dey are the only Indians who will compete in the Denmark Open. 

Media will not be allowed to cover I-League Qualifiers from venues due to COVID-19 protocols

Media persons will not be allowed to cover the Hero I-League Qualifiers from the venue in view of the strict COVID-19 protocol, the All India Football Federation informed.

The I-League Qualifiers, to be held at two West Bengal venues from October 8 to 19, will kick off the football season.

"We regret to inform you that keeping in accordance with the restricted number of personnel for the organisation of the matches as set by health authorities, there is no provision to allow any PRE /NRH/PHO (press/journalists, photographers and the non-rights holders) inside the stadiums," the AIFF said in a media advisory.

"The team list prior to the kick-off of the match and the match summary after the final whistle will be shared on the official twitter handle @ILeagueOfficial.

The advisory further said that the LOC in coordination with the AIFF will be organising virtual pre-match press conference with the head coaches of respective teams at the team hotel, and also the post-match press conference at the stadium.

Five clubs will battle it out for a single I-League qualification spot at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata and the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani, West Bengal.

The Qualifiers will be played in a round-robin format among ARA FC, Bhawanipore FC, Garhwal FC, FC Bengaluru United and Mohammedan SC.

The team that finishes at the top of the table after match-day five, will gain entry into the 2020-21 I-League. 

CWG gold medalist Manika Batra will not join camp: MP Singh

Table tennis star Manika Batra will not be a part of the national camp which is expected to start from this month, Table Tennis Federation of India's (TTFI) Secretary-General M P Singh confirmed on Tuesday.

About this development, M P Singh said, "She has informed us that she will not be joining the national camp in Bengaluru SAI centre and she will continue to practice in Pune, where she has been since the lockdown was imposed."

"She is a TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) athlete so she deals directly with SAI and she can take a decision on where and when she trains. There is not much that TTFI can do about it. Out of the 8 women's team players, only 3 are willing to participate in the camp," he added.

Earlier this year, Manika Batra was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.

M P Singh also revealed that in the men's team, all players have not shown their willingness to join the camp.

"Anthony Amalraj and Sharath Kamal Achanta have shown willingness to join the camp and so have two other players. We are confident in the men's team we will have 5 players for the camp hopefully," M P Singh said.

"The players and support staff will have to undergo seven day quarantine period and mandatory COVID tests before they start practicing," M P Singh signed off. 

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