Hyderabad: In a major development, the State government on Saturday gave green signal allowing sporting activities to resume in the State from August 5. With the Olympics set to begin in less than a year in Tokyo, a few shuttlers, who are based in Hyderabad, are deprived of training while a few in Bengaluru and other parts of the country have taken to training.
Athletes expressed happiness over the State government’s move.
Shuttler B Sai Praneeth, who is in race to book an Olympic berth before the BWF froze the rankings due to the pandemic, said it was a sensible move by the government to allow training. “It has been more than four months since we last had a practice session. I am very thankful to the government for allowing the resumption of sports. With the Olympics set for next year, it is important for us to begin training so that we can get back to form,” he said.
However, Sai Praneeth said it might take a few more days to get back to training. “The decision has been taken only now and we have to wait for a couple of days to get a clear picture. We will wait for instructions from Gopi anna (chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand) and see how it goes.”
When asked about the precautions that should be taken during training, he said, “There are not many players from Telangana who are in contention for the Olympics. So the group is very small and that should not be a problem,” he added.
Doubles player Sikki Reddy also expressed happiness. “It is a good move. But with elders at home, we have to be extra cautious at training. So I am in a mixed state of mind. We were told that if we have to start a camp, we should undergo Covid test and be ready for the camps. But we are not sure when the Academy will open as most of the badminton players left for their homes.”
“Compared to players from other States or even from other countries, we are still behind even as most of the athletes have started training. Anyway, it is a good move because it will benefit the players who are in the Olympic race,” said Sikki Reddy.
Athletics coach Nagapuri Ramesh is skeptical and said they need to be careful while going ahead with the decision. “SAI has already prepared SOPs and the camps in Patiala and Bengaluru are up and running. Now, we have to wait for SAI officials to take a call on resuming training here. As of now, the students are at their respective homes and we will go ahead with the guidelines from SAI,” he added.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.