PV Sindhu will be back to competitive action for the first time since March in three badminton tournaments in Bangkok in January 2021.
India’s sports ministry, on Friday, approved world champion shuttler PV Sindhu’s request to have her personal physio and fitness trainer accompany her to three tournaments in January.
The approval was done under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) – the government’s flagship programme dedicated to identifying Olympic medal hopefuls and helping them train by providing financial and infrastructural aid.
The fees for PV Sindhu’s physio and trainer for the three tournaments is estimated to be around Rs 8.25 lakhs (approximately 11,300 US Dollars). The Sports Ministry will bear this fully.
PV Sindhu, who is a part of the TOPS core group of athletes, will mark her return to the court in January after almost a year-long COVID-enforced hiatus. The Rio 2016 Olympics silver medallist was last in competitive action in March at the All England Championships.
The reigning women’s world champion opted out the Denmark Open and SaarLorLux Open in October due to COVID concerns, while all other tournaments on the BWF calendar were either cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.
With the Asian leg of the BWF World Tour expected to kick off in January, the 25-year-old Sindhu has her eyes firmly set on these tournaments to mark her return.
The immediate focus will be the Yonex Thailand Open from January 12 to 17, the Toyota Thailand Open from January 19 to 24 and the BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok from January 27 to 31.
PV Sindhu is yet to clinch a berth at the BWF World Tour Finals after the Badminton World Federation scrapped the direct entry rule for reigning world champions in October. She, however, can secure an entry based on the points earned from the back-to-back Thailand Opens.
While PV Sindhu may be out of competitive action, she has been keeping herself busy in London, preparing alongside British shuttlers Toby Penty and Rajiv Ouseph at the National Training Centre.
She has also been working on her nutrition and fitness at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) since arriving in England in October.