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HYDERABAD: Non-stop badminton has taken its toll on Kidambi Srikanth as the world No.2 has pulled out of the China Open Super Series Premier beginning in Fuzhou on November 14.
It is reliably learnt that Srikanth sustained a leg injury during the Senior National Badminton Championships which concluded in Nagpur on November 8.
Srikanth has been playing continuously since October 18. He won two back-to-back titles – Denmark Open and French Open – before losing to HS Prannoy in the men’s final in Nagpur on Wednesday.
By pulling out of the China Open, the 24-year-old had lost a wonderful chance of becoming the world No.1 in November itself. Srikanth with 73403 points is 4527 points behind world No.1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
The Guntur lad, who is in the form of his life, would have become the world No.1 by winning the China Open. He is also doubtful for the Hong Kong Super Series (from Nov. 21).
An official on condition of anonymity said that forcing top shuttlers to play the nationals will affect their performance in China and Hong Kong tournaments.
“Poor planning by Badminton Association of India will affect the performance of our players. How can you squeeze in the Nationals between major international tournaments. Now our best player got injured because he has been playing continuously. He lost a great chance of becoming No.1,” an official said, adding that he doesn’t expect the others to do well because they don’t have enough time to practice.
“The players need to practice for at least four to six weeks to get into proper shape before a major tournament. By forcing them to play the Nationals we have denied them the opportunity to train properly. The idea of having top stars for nationals is good but you should have scheduled it in the off season i.e in January or February,” he added.
Players like Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have a chance to qualify for the Super Series Finals if they do well in China and Hong Kong. But without proper training they may find it difficult to compete with the world’s best at these major tournaments.