PV Sindhu confident of reaching Thailand despite travel curbs

In UK, Sindhu is planning to travel via Doha to avoid the travel ban imposed on flights from the UK due to coronavirus.

By Naveen Peter ·

Indian shuttle queen PV Sindhu is confident of competing in Thailand when international badminton resumes next month.

PV Sindhu, who last competed at the All England Championships in March, plans to travel to Bangkok for the two Super 1000 events and the BWF World Tour Finals via Doha to avoid travel bans on flights originating from the UK.

“I plan to travel in the first week of January. There is no travel ban from the UK in Thailand, so I can travel from Doha. The idea is to use the Gulf route to reach Thailand,” Sindhu told PTI.

The silver medallist from the 2016 Rio Olympics has been in England since October, training at the National Badminton Center in Milton Keynes and working on her nutrition and recovery.

With the UK seeing a spike in the COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks due to a new strain of the coronavirus, the government has announced a newly-formed tier four lockdown in areas in the East of England, including London and Milton Keynes. 

The latest ‘stay at home’ order allows people to travel only for education, work, exercise or childcare. But despite the stricter norms, PV Sindhu said her training was going ahead without any hiccups. 

“To be honest, I have been very careful,” the Indian shuttler told ESPN India, who is training alongside British shuttlers Toby Penty and Rajiv Ouseph.

“I have been spending most of my time in training. So I am happy that the national centre is open and I am able to train. Life here is very different from the one in Hyderabad but I have been having a very good time. 

“This is new to me and I am totally enjoying this change. I have also focused a lot on different aspects of training and that is very exciting for me as well to look at nutrition and recovery from a different lens.”

The Thailand events precede the Olympic qualifying window which resumes with the Swiss Open in March. While PV Sindhu has all but qualified for the Olympics next year, the Indian ace will be keen to use the events as a turn-up to the Tokyo Games in July-August.