Top para shuttlers Pramod Bhagat and Sukant Kadam’s preparation for the Paralympics suffered a blow as the Indian team will not be able to compete at the Spanish International due to the 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.”
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.
World No.1 Bhagat had defeated his compatriot Kumar Nitesh in the SL3 men’s singles final to claim the gold medal. He also won the gold in the men’s doubles SL3 – SL4 event with partner Manoj Sarkar.
Kadam, who had grabbed a silver in SL4 men’s singles, 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.”
India is battling an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases with the country currently recording over 3 lakh cases everyday and more than 3,000 daily deaths.