Saina Nehwal dealing with bruise in pre-Olympic year

New Delhi: Indian shuttlers have been dealing with a series of injuries this year, affecting their plans and preparations for the qualifying cycle of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Indian shuttlers had claimed two medals in the last two Olympics with Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu clinching the bronze and silver at the London and Rio Games in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

The Olympic qualification period is between April 29, 2019 and April 26, 2020 with the ranking list published on April 30 to be used to decide the spots.

Each Nation can enter a maximum of two players in the men's and women's singles if both are ranked in the world's top 16 and the Indian shuttlers will have to come up with some good performances to make the cut.

However, injuries have affected the plans of top shuttlers such as Saina and Sameer Verma, both of whom have skipped the ongoing Indonesia Open BWF World Tour Super 1000.

While Saina remains the only Indian to win a title this season, none of the other shuttlers have been able to claim any title so far with B Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth coming close when they reached the finals at Swiss Open and India Open respectively.

Saina, who was looking good at the start of the season, was diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis with mild pancreatitis which affected her performance at the All England Championship.

She recovered to play a few tournaments in April but injuries came back to haunt her as she struggled with fitness in the run-up to the Indonesia Open, a tournament she has won thrice in the past.

The 29-year-old from Hyderabad had issues with her shin, ankle, hip and wrist, which robbed her of enough practice time in an important year.

The Indian, currently ranked 31st, is now trying to gather ranking points to find his way back in the top 10 and seal a place in the Olympics.

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