Poor transport facilities leave Indian shuttlers stranded

 The wom­en’s badminton team may have broken a 28-year-old medal drought at the Asian Games here but the memorable evening was soured by poor transport arrangement by the organisers.

Almost 45 minutes after the completion of their semifinal match against Thailand, the entire Indian contingent, including the men and support staff, were left stranded at the parking lot of the Gyeyang Gymnasium.

While the bus scheduled to transport them to the Athletes Village was already there, the driver was absent. With the volunteers unable to communicate in English, the requests of the shuttlers on the driver’s whereabouts couldn’t be communicated.

Having come in at 6.00 am (local time) for their respective pre-quarterfinal matches, this was not something they had expected as the first sign of inconvenience cropped up. “Just imagine the plight of these shuttlers, they left their rooms early in the morning and still out till late in the nig­ht. They have a match tomorrow and need recovery time. I didn’t expect this,” an annoyed national coach P Gopichand told Deccan Herald.

“The facilities at the venue too are very poor. There is no proper food at the stadium and with two matches in a day, it’s just too taxing for them. Athletes need nutritional food and no such facilities seem to be there. In fact, it is very, very basic,” he added.

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