Former shuttler and World No. 10 B. Chetan Anand feels that if the current crisis continues beyond this year, it will have a serious impact on sports.
“Honestly, I am not sure how the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is planning to resume the circuit presuming even if the crisis subsides to a certain extent in the near future. With the WHO declaring that one has to live with the COVID-19 forever, the fear only gets compounded,” the three-times South Asian Games champion said.
“In this scenario, I feel one of the safer options for the BWF is to have two or three tournaments at one place in a country where the threat is less and that too separately for men and women,” Chetan suggested.
“Forget about crowds, the players will also be too scared to travel in the given circumstances,” he said.
“Though lot of factors are involved in the planning and scheduling of BWF circuit, I feel it is far more easier for the BAI to have the domestic tournaments in India by restricting the entry in the playing arenas. Coaches and officials can enter after thorough screening, sanitising while maintaining social distancing,” Chetan explained. “This will ensure at least that there is some badminton activity,” he added.
“Definitely, no athlete can afford to lose three to four months of serious training and exposure at any given point of time especially when the rescheduled Olympics are to be held next September,” says Chetan, who runs the Chetan Anand Badminton Academy centres in Madhapur and Bachupally here.
Chetan, who is spending more time with his kids, also felt that the academies will be hard-hit with the shortage of shuttles as most of them are imported from Chinese Taipei and a couple of South-East Asian Countries.
He has a message for the shuttlers. “Maintain minimum fitness levels, stay positive. Things should be back to normal, hopefully for I believe this should also be a cycle,” signs off an optimistic Chetan, who is otherwise busy conducting daily online coaching classes for the 100-odd trainees at his academy.