London 2012 bronze medallist Saina Nehwal has pulled out of the BWF World Championships 2021 badminton event, which is set to be held in Huelva, Spain, from December 12 to 19, due to injuries.
This will be the first time Saina Nehwal will be not participating in the marquee badminton event. In 12 editions since making her world championship debut in 2006.
The Indian ace won the silver medal at the world championships in 2015. And clinched a bronze in the 2017 edition. Saina Nehwal has also made the quarter-finals at the event on eight different occasions.
"Saina had to withdraw from the world championship as she is still recovering from the groin and a knee injury. She won't be able to regain fitness in time to play the tournament," Saina Nehwal's husband and fellow Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap told news agency PTI.
Saina Nehwal, a former world No. 1, has been struggling with injuries since winning the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal. Over the past two years, the Hyderabadi shuttler missed several tournaments due to various injuries and ailments.
The 31-year-old Saina Nehwal's constant layoffs played a role in her missing the cut for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. That was already had a curtailed qualification window due to COVID-19.
"She is naturally a bit upset, especially since it has been tough two years for her. She has been getting injured too often, there were niggles, stomach issues, I mean, something or other has been happening," Parupalli Kashyap said.