Legendary shuttler Nozomi Okuhara, who won the Syed Modi India International on December 3, narrated her horrific exprience being in India to play tournaments. She was harrased by Delhi’s cab drivers at the airport, and then in Cuttak, to play Odisha Masters, she was had to wait at the airport for hours by the organiser and then was made to wait for four hours as the hotel refused to alot her a room.
The 28-year-old Okuhara, who won the 2017 World Championships gold and silver in 2019, narrated her ordeal on social media platform fansnet.jp.
She was then provided with a shuttle for her scheduled 8 AM IST practice session.
As Okuhara’s ordeal went viral on social media, her long term on-court rival PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy came to her rescue. They spoke to the local organisers and maanged her accomodation.
Prannoy would then arrange a car which would take her to training as the organiser failed to provide her any transport facility.
As Okuhara’s ordeal brought India’s poor organisational skill in the light, Badminton Association of India (BAI) secretary Sanjay Mishra termed the series of incidents as “unfortunate” and promised that “it won’t happen in future”.
However, Mishra said the Japanese shuttler did not send any e-mail informing the logistical details.
“I understand what Okuhara must have been through but the fact is that we didn’t receive any email regarding accommodation or transportation from her end. It is a technical issue and a matter of miscommunication. We had no information,” Mishra told PTI.
“It is unfortunate but the moment I came to know about it I spoke to the organisers and provided all help. She is a big player and is our guest and we will ensure nothing of this sort happens in future,” he added.
Okuharam who gave the Guwahati Masters a miss, arrived in Delhi from Hong Kong.
On his arrival, he was duped by taxi drivers as she paid ten times more than the normal fare.
However, Mishra said the glitch would not have happened if Okuhara did not travel alone.
“If it is an entire team (travelling) then the team manager contacts the organising committee and things are arranged immediately.
But she was alone and she didn’t contact (organisers), so the organisers didn’t know when she was arriving. It didn’t happen on purpose, it happened by mistake,” Mishra said.