B Sai Praneeth has pulled out of India’s Thomas Cup team for the October 3-11 tournament at Aarhus and the subsequent Denmark Open, citing lack of adequate fitness.
“I resumed training on (September) 6th, but subsequently there were a few niggles and some pain so I needed to rest. I’ve restarted training, but it’s very low-intensity and I don’t want to rush into a top tournament with doubtful fitness and risk aggravation and injury,” the World No. 13, India’s top-ranked men’s singles shuttler, said.
Stressing that two-and-a-half weeks won’t be enough to hit peak playing condition, Praneeth said that he’ll sit out the whole European swing. “I can’t be fit for Denmark, it’s too short a preparation time. I’ll train for the Asian events,” he added.
In Praneeth’s absence, Kidambi Srikanth is expected to take over the mantle of leading India’s Thomas Cup squad with support from senior P Kashyap and junior Lakshya Sen as well as Shubhankar Dey, the heroes of the Asian qualification tournament at the start of the year.
While probables were expected to report in Hyderabad on Tuesday, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) is trying to find a way out to get the camp started so that coaches can determine preparedness of shuttlers ahead of the September 17 deadline (last date to announce squads is September 18).
While women’s singles shuttlers like Aakarshi Kashyap and men’s singles player Shubhankar Dey have landed in Hyderabad, SAI is racing against time to enforce the 10-day quarantine necessary to secure a training bubble.
Four local shuttlers from Hyderabad have asked for exemptions to travel to training from home, while outstation shuttlers converge at the Gopichand academy.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that a bunch of doubles shuttlers from Bangalore have been asked to stay put and hold off travelling to Hyderabad for the moment.
Asianet.in/NewsDesk: Asianet Online