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Olympic qualification: Saina Nehwal hopes hang in balance

In the wake of the Covid-19 surge in India, Malaysia and Singapore have banned flights from the country effective April 28
Saina Nehwal.
Saina Nehwal.
File photo

PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 07.05.21, 04:02 AM

Uncertainty shrouded London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal and men’s star Kidambi Srikanth’s last hopes of Olympic qualification as the Indian government negotiates for their participation in the Malaysian Open amid a ban on flights from India in that country.

Following the postponement of the India Open (May 11-16), Saina and Srikanth’s hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Games hinge on the (May 25-30) Kuala Lumpur event followed by the Singapore Open (June 1-6).

In the wake of the Covid-19 surge in India, Malaysia and Singapore have banned flights from the country effective April 28.

“The Sports Ministry, through the Ministry of External Affairs, has approached the Malaysian Government requesting to grant permission to the Indian Badminton Team to travel to Malaysia to participate in the Malaysian Open scheduled from May 25 to May 30,” the Sports Authority of India said in a statement.

The Malaysian government has said travel may not be possible immediately.

“However, with 19 days left for the competition to begin, the possibility of travel cannot be ruled out completely,” SAI stated.



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