India takes the diplomatic route

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Sports ministry requests Malaysian Govt. to allow Indian players’ participation

India approached the Malaysian Government on Wednesday with a request to allow the national badminton team to travel for the Malaysian Open badminton championships scheduled to start on May 25.

According to a communication from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Sports Ministry, through the Ministry of External Affairs, has made the approach.

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“This is in light of a temporary travel ban that has been imposed by Malaysia owing to the rising COVID-19 cases in India,” the statement said.

“After the initial request made earlier this week, the Indian High Commission in Malaysia has received information from the Malaysian Government that the travel of the team may not be possible immediately.

“However, with 19 days left for the competition to begin, the possibility of travel cannot be ruled out completely.”

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Lot at stake

The Malaysian Open and the Singapore Open (from June 1) are the last two qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo Olympics.

Some of the big names looking to compete in the two tournaments and log ranking points to make the cut are Saina Nehwal, K. Srikanth and the doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy.

The others who are also lined up to play in the tournaments include P.V. Sindhu and B. Sai Praneeth and the men’s doubles pair of R. Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chirag Shetty, who are assured of a slot in the Olympics by virtue of their current world rankings.

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