The nine-member Indian badminton contingent will leave for the Tokyo Olympics on July 17. All nine members of the Indian badminton squad, including four players, will first depart from Hyderabad to Delhi on Saturday afternoon.
After reaching Delhi, the badminton team will catch a late evening flight to Tokyo. The badminton tournament 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 and will conclude on August 8.
Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu, men’s singles player B Sai Praneeth and men’s doubles combination Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are currently training under their respective coaches in Hyderabad.
In addition to the four players, the five-member support staff will travel with the squad. PV Sindhu’s coach Park Tae-Sang of Korea, Sai Praneeth’s coach Agus Dwi Santosa of Indonesia, along with doubles coach Mathias Boe of Denmark, are part of the team. Two physiotherapists, Sumansh Sivalanka and Evangeline Baddam will also be accompanying the players in Tokyo.
Indian’s badminton contingent will be the first batch to leave for Tokyo
The badminton contingent will be a part of the first batch to leave for Tokyo on July 17. According to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the men’s and women’s hockey teams and the archery and swimming contingent are also scheduled to fly out on July 17.
The Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics will leave in batches from Delhi. Except for the first batch, all the dates are yet to be finalized. As per the Tokyo Games protocol, athletes can enter Tokyo only five days before their event and leave no later than 48 hours following their competition.
PV Sindhu’s physiotherapist Evangeline Baddam said the ace shuttler was in absolutely fine shape and raring to go. Baddam, who will be going to the Olympics for the first time, 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. BAI general secretary Ajay Kumar Singhania, on Monday, 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 practice for players from July 19.