Kolkata: According to reports, current World Number 2 and Olympic Silver medalist, PV Sindhu is in contention for a spot in the Badminton World Federation’s Athletes’ (BWF) Commission along with nine other badminton players. The only other Indian alongside her in the fray is the relatively unknown male shuttler Nikhar Garg who is better known for his anti-establishment voice rather than his performances on the court. As of January he was ranked 374th in doubles. His nomination has surprised many to say the least yet it has happened because he had expressed his desire to contest for a slot in BWF Athletes’ Commission before.
The lesser-known Mumbai shuttler launched an online petition back in May 2016, urging the Badminton World Federation to grant greater autonomy to independent players by giving them the chance to register directly to tournaments rather than through their associations.
The nominations closed on March 27 with six men and three women standing for the BWF Athletes’ Commission elections. Apart from Sindhu and Garg, the list also comprises two former World No 1s in men’s doubles and a former European men’s singles champion.
The others who applied are Lithuania’s Akville Stapusaityte, Ugandan Edwin Ekiring, Malaysian Koo Kien Keat, Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour, Mexico’s Luis Ramon Garrido Esquivel, German Marc Zwiebler and Korea’s Yoo Yeon Seong. Yuhan Tan of Belgium, Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark and Greysia Polii of Indonesia are the three who be will be completing their four-year term in May and thus shall be replaced.
The rule states that at least one male and one female player must be elected. The third person will be the candidate with the next highest number of votes. The fourth member must be a female and shall be elected to finish the term of former Chinese shuttler Tang Yuanting.
Tang, who had become a member of the Athletes’ Commission back in 2015, had resigned following her voluntary retirement from the game last year, thus leaving one casual vacancy on the Commission.
Thus it has been decided that either the female with the second-highest number of votes or the female with the third-highest number of votes given that the third person elected to the Commission is female will be elected to serve the remaining two years of Tang’s term. In what is seen as a first in the voting procedure, voting shall be done through email and this procedure starts on Wednesday 26 April, 2017, and ends on Wednesday 24 May, 2017; the date on which players attending the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2017 in Gold Coast will be able to vote in person at the stadium.
(With inputs from PTI)