Former World No.1 and star shuttler Kidambi Srikanth feels the training sessions may not be the same for the first few months given the safety guidelines in the wake of COVID-19.
The 27-year-old Srikanth, now stuck in his hometown Guntur for the last two months due to the lockdown, believes that presuming the training starts from June 1 with some restrictions in place, it will be a different kind of challenge for all the players and the coaches.
“Normally if two of us are training, we will be assisted by four to five players plus the coach. I wonder in the given scenario that will be permitted,” says Srikanth in a chat with Sportstar.
“Each training session, under normal circumstances, will feature about 30 players and coaches. So, it will be interesting to see how the new scenario looks when we start training,” he says.
“So, if the social distancing and other safety measures are followed, I am sure we might not reach the desired intensity level that quickly,” says the champion shuttler who happens to be the only Indian men’s shuttler to win four Super Series in 2017.
“One has to remember that in other SAI centres like in Bengaluru and Patiala, the athletes stay in the centres. In Hyderabad, many of us travel to the SAI-Gopichand Academy. This means lot of risk involved and meriting extra precautions given the grim situation,” he points out. “And, not all of them own cars and many use public transport which is fraught with lot of fear,” he adds.
“I strongly feel there is no need to rush things since the BWF calendar is not going to start for at least three months from now. We can afford to start the training sessions slow and peak as and when the calendar is finalised,” he says.
“Personally, I am really happy with my fitness levels and there are no injury scares at all. Obviously, I am more than keen to regain the kind of form that made me the No.1 player in the world,” he says.
“Ideally, I would love to have five to six weeks of full-fledged training before a major tournament. Now this three-month break in BWF calendar should help our cause a lot to be in the right frame of mind,” Srikanth explains.
“Definitely, there are lot of issues to be considered for training and more importantly plan them in such a way that everybody’s health is given top priority,” says Srikanth.