Saina, Carolina hit out at cramped BWF calendar

New Delhi: Spanish badminton star Carolina Marin is on the same page with India’s Saina Nehwal, who hit out at the cramped schedule of the Badminton World Federation today.

Addressing mediapersons at the launch of the third edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL), Saina advocated for a five-week Grand Slam tournament like tennis instead of the various Superseries, held almost every week across the globe.

“Being a player, I can definitely say that it is not easy to play so many back to back tournaments. If you want to make badminton like tennis, you need to have four-five big five-week Grand Slam like tournament where you have big money,” Saina said.

Asked about the burden of playing the Nationals in the middle of a packed international calendar, the Hyderabadi shuttler said: “Nationals is not much of a burden as compared to BWF calendar. The nationals just last for three days whereas Superseries goes on for five days.

“You need to take into account the travel time also. It is very heavy on us players. And for Indians the next year is going to be tougher because of Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

“World Championships take half your energy, and if you have a big tournament lined up just in two weeks time, you are challenging yourself mentally and physically.

“If someone is nursing an injury, there is no time for the player to recuperate. There were a lot of players who were playing last year but are not playing this year,” she added.

Still battling to return to full fitness after the knee surgery last year, Saina conceded that she could have possibly played a few more tournaments had the BWF calendar been a bit more flexible.

“When I was recovering from my injury, I concentrated on just one part, so I couldn’t train on other areas. So my fitness wasn’t 100 percent. But then again I had to take some time off after the World Championship.”

Echoing the views of the former World No.1 Indian, Marin said: “I totally agree with what Saina said on the scheduling. There are so many tournaments that we hardly find any time to recover.

“I can understand her views although as a Spanish I cannot participate in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. It’s going to be really, really tough. But we can’t help it and its better to focus on our game,” the Rio Olympics gold medallist added.

The third edition of the eight-team PBL starts in Guwahati on December 23.

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