Saina Nehwal’s chances of defending her Commonwealth Games crown appear to be slim since she has decided to forgo the multi-sport selection trials. She stated that she does not want to put her body through the rigors because she has just returned from tournaments in Europe and another major event is approaching. She also questioned why trials were being held at this time.
The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China are two major events. The selection trials will take place from April 15 to April 20.
The statement by Saina Nehwal on the trials
Saina Nehwal, a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, has informed the Badminton Association of India (BAI) of her decision to forgo the trials.
Saina Nehwal said she emailed BAI in early April to let them know she would be skipping the trials, but she received no response.
Saina Nehwal said that she had written to them as soon as I found out about the trials. She said that she didn’t want to put her body through another competition when I had just returned from the European leg and the Asian Championships were just a week away, quoted Saina as saying.
It’s a little disconcerting, but it’s fine. She said that she will continue to compete in the Olympics and other competitions, and has no objections if someone else is deemed deserving and capable of winning a medal in the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
BAI’s decision on player rankings
The CWG squad will be made up of ten men and ten women, while the Asian Games and Thomas & Uber Cup teams will each be made up of twenty people, ten men, and ten women.
The BAI has stated that players in the top 15 of the BWF rankings will be chosen directly, while the remainder will be chosen from trials in which shuttlers ranked 16 to 50 in the most recent world rankings will compete.
Malvika Bansod, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha, and Anupama Upadhyaya have been in good form among the current crop of women’s singles players, although none of them have beaten top international talents on the world stage.
Injuries and the recent form of Saina Nehwal
Saina, a former world number one, has been battling injuries and poor play for the past few years, and her ranking has dropped to 23rd.
Saina had experienced a major knee injury prior to the Rio Olympics, despite winning gold medals at the 2010 and 2018 CWGs.
She injured her groin in October at the Thomas & Uber Cup Final in Aarhus, Denmark, and had to quit midway through the first round at the French Open.
Her comeback to the tour came to an end in the second round of the India Open, when she was upset by Malvika Bansod, a rising star. She competed in three events last month after taking a few weeks off the German Open, the All England Open, and the Swiss Open, but she didn’t advance past the second round in any of them.
When she played Akane Yamaguchi in a three-game encounter at this year’s All England Open, she showed flashes of her former self.