Bio-Bubble For Thailand Open: Saina Nehwal Calls Out Restrictions, Says Players Have No Access To Physios

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As the Thailand Open kickstarts on January 12 in Bangkok, Saina Nehwal seems to be unhappy about the arrangements made by Badminton World Federation. Nehwal, on Tuesday, called out the regulations and restrictions put in place for the upcoming tournament. The Olympic medallist alleged that the players are not allowed to interact with their physios and trainers, and that the time allotted for practice and gym is “not good enough”. In a series of tweets, Nehwal, who is playing her first tournament since the All England Open in March last year, expressed displeasure at the restrictions imposed by BWF as part of its coronavirus protocols in the secured bio-bubble.

The former world No 1 wrote in her first tweet, “The physios and trainers cannot meet us during the entire tour after all of us have tested negative?” She further added that the players “want to play the tournament in good condition.”

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Nehwal, who is eyeing the Tokyo Olympics qualification, urged BWF to address the issues at the earliest.

Saina Nehwal wrote in a separate tweet that the players had “No Time for warm ups / taping / cool downs / stretches..we are talking about the best players in the world competing isn’t it ? We’ve spent a lot of money getting the physios and trainers along with us . If they can’t help us then why was this not told before ?”

Olympic champion Carolina Marin, meanwhile, posted a video from inside her Bangkok hotel room, happily working out with the equipment provided to her.


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The BWF  clarified that the same rules applied to everyone. “The Prospect clearly states that all athletes and personnel here in the Green Bubble in Bangkok must stay in their room until practice commences tomorrow on 6 January. It is a condition of entry that everyone follows this. Today, around midday Bangkok time, Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) and BWF got a request from Saina Nehwal via BAI seeking permission for Saina Nehwal to see her physio. BAT informed BAI and Saina Nehwal of the protocol in the Prospectus and informed her that there is a procedure in place to allow athletes to see their physios in their rooms only once practice has commenced tomorrow on 6 January. A special procedure/appointment is still needed for any personnel to leave their room to go to the Practice Hall, or in the case of a physio, visit the athlete they treat.”

Apart from Nehwal, world champion PV Sindhu and Olympic hopefuls Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth are also heading to Bangkok for the tournaments to represent India.

Feature Image Credit: latest-news-healines.com

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