Top shuttlers like Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal might leave for Malaysia and Singapore for their respective tournaments via Doha with no direct flights connecting from India owing to the pandemic situation. The Indian duo are aiming to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic in the upcoming events.
Yet to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, elite badminton stars Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal have a handful of tournaments to seal berths for the same. But, the postponement of the India Open Super 500, which was a potential Olympic qualifier, has put the fate of the Indian athletes in jeopardy.
However, they still have a couple of tournaments, in Malaysia and Singapore, to earn qualifications for the mega-event. As per the recent developments, Saina and Kidambi would be travelling to the concerned venues via Doha, with no direct flights from India owing to the travel restrictions.
"With the current travel restrictions, Indian players will not be able to take direct flights. We have checked for via routes and the alternatives are either from Sri Lanka or from Doha and Indian shuttlers are most likely to travel via Qatar," read a statement from BAI.
"We have already submitted the travel documents of our Olympic bound players and officials for visa processing. Though there is a ban on the issue of visa for Indians except for sports-related travel activities, visa is available on certain terms and conditions,” added the statement.
India’s top-ranked shuttler PV Sindhu, along with Sai Praneeth and the duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have already qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Apart from the above-mentioned four, Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal and the doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa are also set to feature in the upcoming tournaments.