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India Open: Battling Cold and Late Starts
- Updated: February 6, 2024
The India Open Super 750 badminton tournament in New Delhi was a rollercoaster of emotions and challenges, from freezing temperatures to late match starts and translation issues. Despite these obstacles, the event showcased the resilience and passion of both players and fans.
One of the main talking points of the tournament was the scheduling of the marquee India matches. Players like HS Prannoy and Satwik-Chirag found themselves competing late into the night, with matches starting as late as 9:30 PM. This was especially challenging considering the biting cold of Delhi’s single-digit nightly temperatures. The lack of indoor heating in the stadium and the absence of nearby Metro stations added to the difficulties for both players and spectators. Despite these challenges, the turnout remained sizeable, with many fans braving the cold to support their favorite players.
The scheduling issues were exacerbated by the decision to start quarterfinal days at noon, leading to matches potentially stretching past midnight. This decision aimed to attract more fans after work hours but overlooked the strain it placed on both players and spectators. Players like Prannoy voiced their concerns about the tight schedule, highlighting the limited time for recovery between matches.
Foreign players also faced challenges due to the cold weather, with their breath fogging up during interviews after night matches. This underscored the importance of considering the well-being of all players, regardless of their nationality, when planning tournament schedules.
Despite the logistical challenges, the atmosphere inside the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall was electric, reminiscent of cricket stadiums in India. The presence of Indian players in action throughout the tournament ensured continuous support from the crowd. Creative chants and enthusiastic cheers filled the air, creating a vibrant and energetic ambiance.
However, the enthusiastic crowd also posed distractions for players like Satwik and Chirag. While they appreciated the support, they admitted to feeling distracted, especially during crucial moments like serving. Nevertheless, they embraced the crowd’s energy and even found humor in some of the chants directed at them.
Overall, the India Open showcased the passion of badminton fans in India and the resilience of players amidst challenging conditions. While scheduling issues and communication barriers presented hurdles, they were overshadowed by the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship that prevailed throughout the tournament. As players and fans alike look forward to future editions of the India Open, organizers may consider addressing logistical challenges to ensure a smoother and more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
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By- Sahiba Suri