Matter of only a day

Updated: 21 March, 2020 14:52 IST | PTI |

PV Ramana justifies daughter Sindhu's decision to stay back in Birmingham for last week's All England despite receiving travel advisory to return home due to Coronavirus pandemic.

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu was given the choice of pulling out of the All England Championships after the Indian government's travel restrictions came into force, but the Olympic silver- medallist decided to play on despite the chaos triggered by the COVID- 19 pandemic. On March 11, the government issued a revised travel advisory, cancelling all visas till April 15 and making it clear that Indian nationals returning to the country from affected countries would be quarantined for 14 days. England is among the most- affected by Coronavirus outbreak, which has caused more than 9,000 deaths across the world.

Coach Gopi's suggestion

"When the travel advisory came on March 11 night, the next morning Gopi [ national coach Pullela Gopichand] had told us that ' this has come so let's not play this match and go back, what do you say?'" Sindhu's father PV Ramana told PTI. " Only Sindhu, Lakshya [ Sen] and Sikki [ Reddy] and Ashwini [ Ponnappa] were there in the second round. We decided to stay back and play, Vimal also said let's play. The reason was when we are already here so one more day won't make any difference," he added.

The advisory caused significant confusion and concern among the top Indian shuttlers, who were in Birmingham for the tournament with Parupalli Kashyap sending an SOS to the government asking for clarity on the situation. Saina Nehwal, Kashyap, and B Sai Praneeth fell at the first hurdle. While Lakhsya lost to Viktor Axelsen in the second round, Sindhu entered the quarter-finals where she lost to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara.

'We wore masks'

"In England, no one was wearing masks but we wore masks when we went out of the hotel, in the stadium, all through our travelling. We took necessary precautions like disinfecting the seats in flights with wipes and removing masks only when necessary like eating," said Ramana

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First Published: 21 March, 2020 14:26 IST

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