BAI, IOA downplays Saina’s threat to pull out of CWG

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New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday ruled out any disciplinary action against Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (CWG) gold medallist Saina Nehwal, who threatened to pull out of the event after her father was denied accreditation.

Praising Saina as the “pride of the country”, Sarma downplayed it as an one-off incident which is done and dusted.

“Saina is the pride of the country. Despite all her feats, she is a humble girl and such incidents can happen to anyone… Let’s not make it a huge issue,” Sarma told IANS on the sidelines of the BAI’s felicitation ceremony for CWG medallists.

Indian Olympics Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra, who came as chief guest at the awards ceremony was also non-committal on the issue.

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“Let’s not discuss all such things today. It’s a happy moment for the country, as all our shuttlers made us proud with their performances in the CWG,” Batra said.

Earlier, Batra along with Sarma handed out cash rewards to the medallists of last month’s Commonwealth Games.

While Saina was presented a cheque of Rs 20 lakh for the individual women’s singles gold medal, P.V. Sindhu — who lost to her in the final — was given Rs 10 lakh.

Sarma also clarified that all pending dues of the shuttlers are gradually being cleared and assured them of all support from the federation for the upcoming Asian Games.

“All pending dues are being gradually cleared, there is no dearth of money. We are ready to spend on whatever facilities the shuttlers want.

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“With all due respect to their performances in the CWG, the Asian Games won’t be any cakewalk. We need to back our skills and be well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead when we compete with countries like China, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan,” he said.

–IANS

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