Saina Nehwal web ST

Picture Credit: Twitter

Indian Badminton player Saina Nehwal has decided to skip the selection trials for the upcoming multi-sport events. The Hisar-born is set to miss the Thomas and Uber Cup, Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the Hangzhou Asian Games. The 32-year-old sent the Badminton Association of India a statement informing her decision. 

According to PTI a source close to BAI said, “Saina has written to BAI, informing her decision to not play in the trials which will be the only tournament to pick players for CWG, Asiad and Thomas and Uber Cup.” 

The badminton contingent for the CWG will consist of 10 members with an equal number of men and women, while the Asian Games and Thomas & Uber Cup squads will include 20 members each, including 10 men and 10 women.

The BAI has also clarified that players part of the top 15 in the BWF rankings will receive a direct selection. Whereas other shuttlers between 16 to 50 in the latest world rankings, released on March 29. will go through trials for their selection. The national governing body also wants to start the procedure of “finalising probables for the senior core group for the 2024 Olympic Games” during these trials.

Injury-riddled recent years

Saina Nehwal has been one of the best shuttlers coming out of India as she has won gold medals at the 2010 and 2018 CWG. But before the Rio Olympics, she suffered a career-threatening knee injury. Following this setback she suffered several other injuries which have derailed her career in recent years. The former World Number one has also slipped to the 23rd spot in the global rankings.

Last year while playing in the Thomas & Uber Cup Final in Aarhus, Denmark, Nehwal suffered a groin injury which pushed her to withdraw from the event in the first round. Sania also had to miss the French Open as she suffered a new knee injury. Then as she returned to the Indian Open, youngster Malvika Bansod took her out in the second round itself. This dip in form has continued as Saina Nehwal failed to get past the second round of the  English and the Swiss Open last month.