Arvind set for NZ return

The 31-year-old shuttler from Karnataka, who defeated Commonwealth Games bronze medallist P Kashyap in the finals of the National Championship in Rohtak early this year, hurt his shoulder during a practice session and was sidelined for a month. However, the strapping senior shuttler is now set to return to international badminton with a clash against Daniel Gouw of America on Thursday.

“My shoulder is perfectly alright now. I have worked very hard with the physio in Bangalore and doing great now. Last six weeks I have been training well,” Arvind said.

“I have a new trainer, his name is Shama Rao. I have been doing some great training off court, and also concentrating quite well on my diet and mental fitness. Hopefully the results will be good,” he added.

Asked if playing in the New Zealand Open was a move to get back on court confidence, Arvind said, “Yeah you can say that. But the field here is very strong... unusual for a International Challenger event. Nonetheless, it should be good.”

“I’m looking at playing my best and continue the same form like in the Nationals. I know that it will be difficult but will give my best. My first round opponent is an American, so should be ok. My pre-quarter will be against a Chinese Taipei guy, should be a good one.”

Promising shuttler RMV Gurusaidatt, who had reached the semifinals of the Indian Open last year, will be up against Nathan David of Australia in the men’s singles.

Among other Indians in the men’s singles, Aditya Elango will be up against Andrew Paulet of Australia, while Eshan Naqvi will take on Andre Kurniawan Tedjono of Indonesia. India’s Ajit Wjjetilekk will meet Matthieu Lo Ying Ping of France.

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