Badminton: India's elite players return to training after four months

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) – India’s elite badminton players, including women’s world champion Pusarla Sindhu, returned to training on Friday (Aug 7) after a four-month hiatus due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Rio Olympic silver medallist is among eight Tokyo Olympic hopefuls, along with 2012 London bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, at the national camp in the southern city of Hyderabad.

“I am very happy to have our elite shuttlers back for on-field training after this long break,” national coach Pullela Gopichand said.

“We are fully equipped to resume training in a safe environment.” Strict safety protocols were being followed in the camp, the Sports Authority of India said.

Sindhu, who went down to Spaniard Carolina Marin in the final in Rio, has said she used the shutdown to develop new shots.

“There is always the intense desire to keep improving with each passing day,” the 25-year-old told Sportstar magazine this week.

“I am trying out some new strokes which you will be seeing soon. You have to be a different player consistently to outsmart the rivals,” said Sindhu, who was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the All-England Open in March, her last tournament before the disruption.

Coronavirus cases have topped 2 million in India, the country hardest hit in Asia.

The country’s shooting federation has called off a camp for its elite shooters that was to begin this week on the outskirts of Delhi.

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