Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu has withdrawn from the BWF World Tour Finals as she is yet to fully recover from a stress fracture on her left ankle.
Sindhu, a former winner of the prestigious season-ending event when she clinched the title in 2018, has been out of action since winning the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The BWF World Tour Finals is scheduled to be held in Guangzhou, China from December 14.
Coach Park Tae Sang confirmed the decision on Instagram, and Sindhu added to her story that she will “come back stronger.”
The development was first reported on Sunday with Sindhu’s father PV Ramana telling PTI that the star shuttler will focus on getting fully fit and has informed Badminton Association of India about her decision.
“Her doctor has advised her to take some more time so that she recovers completely ahead of the new season. She has discussed about the pros and cons but with so much restrictions in Guangzhou and also keeping new season in mind, she has taken this decision,” Ramana told PTI.
“She has already started her training a couple of weeks back and by January she will be fully fit. So in view of all these reasons, she sent a mail to BAI informing about her decision. She will need to be at her best for next year which will have Asian Games and also the 2024 Paris Olympics qualification, playing about 22 tournaments will be tough, so she is taking extra care.”
China will host its first international badminton tournament since 2019 with the season-ending World Tour Finals in December, the sport’s governing body had said.
The Badminton World Federation cancelled two planned events in China but said its flagship $1.5 million Finals would take place in Guangzhou on December 14-18.
Sindhu said while withdrawing from the World Championships in Tokyo that she had to play through pain in Birmingham. “I felt pain and there was an injury scare at the quarter finals of the CWG, but with the help of my coach, physio and trainer, I decided to push as far as I could,” she had said in her statement back then.
“The pain was unbearable during and post the finals. Hence I rushed for a MRI as soon as I got back to Hyderabad. The doctors confirmed a stress fracture on my left foot and recommended rest for a few weeks.”
The former world champion did indeed get back to training recently but it looks like the World Tour Finals, for which she qualified with enough points earned before CWG, has come too soon. It had been a good season for Sindhu on tour with victory at Singapore Open Super 500 just before Birmingham. It was her first Super 500 title of the year to go with her two Super 300 titles (Syed Modi International and Swiss Open) earlier to go top of the BWF World Tour Race to Guangzhou for the season at that point.
As things stand, HS Prannoy is the only other Indian to have qualified for the season finale with one event to go in Australia starting on Tuesday.