Lucknow: Top Indian shuttlers including Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are reluctant to play at the upcoming South Asian Games as they fear it may affect their their preparations and training schedule for the Rio Olympics.
Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu
The qualification for Rio depends on world rankings in May and the players are keen that they compete in international events to improve their rankings.
The South Asian Games (SAG) are clashing with the Thailand Masters, but Badminton Association of India (BAI) is trying to convince the players not to withdraw.
"Some of the top players such as Saina and Sindhu have sent letters to BAI citing fitness and health issues to skip the SAG. We will try to convince them or leave it to the government to take a call," said a BAI source.
The team SAG's championship is scheduled for February 6 and 7 for men and women respectively. The semi-finals are on Feb 8 and finals in the evening, while individual events are on Feb 9 and 10.
Indian shuttlers managed a clean sweep, clinching all 7 gold medals in both men's and women's events in the last event, when it was held in 2010 in Bangladesh.
Indian shuttlers are also set to compete at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Hyderabad from February 15 to 21.