London Olympics Preview: Badminton




Prospect of winning a medal looks bright but still a stiff challenge awaits in securing it.

India is enjoying their best of times in badminton recently with a surge of world class players such as Saina Nehwal and Jwala Gutta. For first time, India will be seen in action at all four categories of badminton event. This is probably the best and strongest badminton team sent for Olympics because even our coach Gopi Chand is a world class one. We have never won a medal in history of Olympics at badminton, how much possible is it now?

Men’s Singles – A medal is near impossible

Parupalli Kashyap, current world No. 21 produced a stellar of performances in Indonesia Open to clinch the Olympics qualification. With the draw got announced yesterday, Kashyap can afford to dream till quarter-finals because at quarters, his likely opponent is the top seed, world player of  the year and Olympic silver medalist Chong Wei Lee. But at first, Kashyap needs to play to his potential to even top his group. So, expecting a medal is still too much from him.

Men’s singles are scheduled from July 28th to August 5th

Women’s Singles – A medal is up for grabs

If she holds on till August 4, then that smile will be bigger and louder.

Saina is drawn into relatively easy group where she will be facing Belgian Lianne Tan and Swiss Sabine Jaquet. Her road is not tough till quarter-finals where she likely to face world no. 5 Tine Baun. Saina will be confident against her after triumph in last two encounters. Saina must be vary of complacency and nerves because although she is expected to roll over till semi’s, there is no single easy match with underdog opponents giving out everything.

Saina’s biggest test comes at semis against Chinese Wang Yihan. It will be a virtual gold medal decider as the winner will be meeting lesser intense opponent than this match in finals. Wang Yihan is the heavy favourite to win the gold along with Saina Nehwal and Li Xuerui. Saina recent form is very good and with favourable draw, medal is very much possible but gold will sweat better for her sweats.

Women’s singles happens from July 28th to August 4th.

Doubles Event – A tough draw killed any chances for a medal

In mixed-doubles, India’s Jwala Gutta and Vilayaveetil Diju must spring some surprises because they are with three other pairs in the group C who all are ranked above them. It will take some effort for our pair to even march beyond group stage. So, leave thinking about medal.

In Women’s doubles, India’s chances got killed already with a tough group B draw. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa must play like someone from alien nation to even get out of their group that consists of world no. 5, 10 and 13th. With Jwala Gutta playing in both doubles events, makes it even more difficult.

Doubles starts from July 28th with mixed doubles event ending on August 3rd and women’s event finishing on August 4th.

As our coach Gopi Chand said before taking flight for London, we have a very good chance of winning a medal. That’s all depends on Saina Nehwal ability.

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