Indian para shuttlers to miss Spanish international due to COVID restrictions

The tournament is scheduled to be held from May 11 to 16, but with Spain announcing a 10-day mandatory quarantine period on travellers from India, it will not be possible for the players to compete in the event

World No.1 Pramod Bhagat said he had been eagerly looking forward to competing at the tournament after a successful outing in Dubai last month. -SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Top para shuttlers Pramod Bhagat and Sukant Kadam's preparation for the Tokyo Paralympics suffered a blow due to the Indian team not being able to compete at the Spanish International because of new quarantine rules imposed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament is scheduled to be held from May 11 to May 16, but with Spain announcing a 10-day mandatory quarantine period on travellers from India, it will not be possible for the players to compete in the event.

"After a great performance in Dubai Para badminton tournament, I was eagerly looking forward for the Spanish tournament as this was the last tournament before Paralympics," Bhagat said.

"I wanted to use this as an opportunity to prepare for the 1st ever Paralympics in Tokyo. But I understand these are difficult times. I request everyone to please follow covid protocols and be safe," he added.

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Bhagat and Kadam were part of the Indian contingent which had bagged four gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the Dubai Para-Badminton International last month.

Kadam, who had grabbed a silver in SL4 men's singles at that event, said, "Yes, this will hamper our preparations a little bit as we wanted to play more competitive tournaments before the Paralympics."

"I was in particular looking forward for this one as it would have helped me to reach 4th in Race to Tokyo rankings after winning the gold medal. But we respect the decision taken and will practise harder and perform well at the Paralympics."

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