Indian badminton star and Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was today ruled out along with Parupalli Kashyap from the 12th South Asian Games due to injury concerns, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) informed the local organisers here.
“We’ve received a communication from BAI stating that the entire badminton squad except for Saina and Kashyap is arriving tomorrow afternoon,” SAG (Shillong) joint CEO FR Kharkongor told PTI.
Saina and Kashyap are two of the top badminton athletes for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio.
Jwala Gutta has been confirmed as the captain of the Indian team by BAI President Akhilesh Das Gupta.
Das Gupta also hoped India would clinch all the medals on offer in badminton as they had in the previous edition in Bangladesh in 2010.
Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) complex at the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) campus, on the outskirts of the city, will host the badminton meet from February 6-10.
Incidentally, the venue was in the spotlight and was cleared after a late reassessment from former India shuttler Pullela Gopichand after the infrastructure was reported to be not ready.
The controversy had begun after the organisers had decided to shift the venue for badminton discipline from Meghalaya to co-host Assam as the state government here had threatened to withdraw from co-hosting the Games.
Following the announcement of the state government to consider withdrawing from the SAC, the Games Technical Conduct Committee decided to send Gopichand to visit the venue to conduct a fresh assessment.