Sameer Verma: Injuries, fatigue led to poor show at Sudirman Cup

Updated: May 31, 2019, 08:29 IST | Sundari Iyer

Sameer Verma was roped in as a last-minute replacement for Srikanth, who got injured during practice

Sameer Verma: Injuries, fatigue led to poor show at Sudirman Cup
India's Sameer Verma at clinic for kids in Goregaon yesterday. Pic/Prashant Parsekar

World no. 12 Sameer Verma attributed India's ouster from the recent Sudirman Cup mixed team championship in the group stages to two reasons. Firstly, the sudden injury to skipper Kidambi Srikanth and the second, to fatigue as a result a packed 2018 calendar.

India crashed out of the tournament last week after losing to Malaysia 2-3 and hosts China 0-5. China had beaten Malaysia earlier, so with two teams qualifying from the three-team group, India had to win any one of their two matches, but they failed. Sameer was roped in as a last-minute replacement for Srikanth, who got injured during practice.

"It was a shock for us when we got to know after reaching China that Srikanth was injured during practice. The injury was not serious, but our physio felt it was better to rest him. It was a setback for us. I was picked to replace him and mentally I was not prepared initially. But later, the coaches discussed the plan and I felt I was up to the task.

Eventually, however, I could not perform well and failed to execute our plans," Sameer, 24, who first lost 11-21, 12-21 to Malaysia's World No. 20 Lee Zii Jia, and then went down 17-21, 20-22 to China's Olympic champion Chen Long. Recently, India chief coach Pullela Gopichand claimed that the 2018 calendar was too hectic, and Sameer couldn't agree more.

"Gopi sir said was right about the scheduling. We were all pretty tired in China. The hectic 2018 is behind us. Now, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification is on our minds and we must plan well in our next events keeping the Olympics in mind," added Sameer, on the sidelines of a free badminton clinic held for kids at the Goregaon Sports Club yesterday.

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