Indian shuttler asked to wear headscarf in Tehran

Wednesday 08th February 2023 05:50 EST

Tanya Hemanth of Karnataka clinched the women’s singles title at the Iran Fajr International Challenge badminton tournament in Tehran on Sunday but had to put on a headscarf before collecting her gold medal.
Second seed Tanya, 19, who trains at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, had the measure of defending champion and compatriot Tasnim Mir in 30 minutes. The Bengaluru girl cruised in the first game, weathered a little resistance from the top seed in the second before registering a 21-7, 21-11 win.
Apparently, the organisers asked Tanya to wear a headscarf at the medal ceremony, which was one of the event’s conventions. The practice was prevalent last year as well when Tasnim won the crown. Badminton sources said that the organisers had made it clear that head-scarves were mandatory for women medal winners although the tournament prospectus made no mention of a podium dress code.
“The prospectus talked about the clothing rules in the Badminton World Federation’s competition regulations, which is mostly common in tournaments around the world. While we knew that headscarves were a must when women stepped out in Tehran, there was no particular mention about their use during the tournament,” the sources said.
Women shuttlers faced no such restrictions during their matches but no male spectator was allowed to watch them play. A sticker at the entrance, which said ‘no men allowed’, didn’t discriminate between a woman player’s coach or her parent. Both were barred from entering the stadium if they were male. Interestingly, the tournament had mixed doubles on their menu, reportedly for the first time, in which 10 pairs from around the world took part.

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