A quartet of Indian shuttlers, led by the reigning world champion and Rio silver medallist P V Sindhu, is aiming to proceed the pattern of returning with Olympic medal after reaching success within the final two editions of the Games.
Here is a have a look at the shuttlers, who can be both seeking to higher the color of the medal or create a breakthrough of their respective classes within the competitors, beginning July 24 on the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza within the Japanese capital.
P V SINDHU (Women’s Singles):
Sindhu transcended all expectations and have become a family title after her unprecedented run on the Rio Olympics, the place she went a step forward of her senior professional Saina Newhal’s London bronze medal with a first-ever silver on debut.
Five years have handed since then and the 26-year-old Sindhu will look to make use of her expertise to carry dwelling India’s first gold in badminton.
Since Rio, the Hyderabad shuttler has constantly reached the finals of main occasions, together with the 2017 World Championship, the place she performed the second-longest match of ladies’s singles, clocking 110minutes within the summit conflict in opposition to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.
She settled for a silver and a 12 months later once more needed to be happy with one other runner-up end on the World Championship in Nanjing, after happening to Olympic champion Carolina Marin.
She additionally made it to the summit clashes of the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in 2018 however her failure to cross the ultimate hurdle briefly obtained her the choker’s tag.
But a relentless Sindhu shed it by changing into the one Indian shuttler to assert the season-ending World Tour Finals in 2018 and a 12 months later lay declare to the World Championship title in Basel.
She will enter Tokyo because the favorite to win the gold, particularly after the withdrawal of injured Marin, who had stopped her run final time.
However, within the run-up to the Olympics, Sindhu did not have a nice outing this 12 months with only one ultimate look on the Swiss Open and a semifinal end at All England as each ended with demoralising losses in opposition to Marin and Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong.
But Sindhu has all the time been a massive match participant and says she has labored on her weak defence underneath new international coach Park Tae-sang to be in one of the best form for the Olympics.
A have a look at the draw and Sindhu should have no drawback in getting throughout Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi (ranked thirty fourth) and Israel’s Ksenia Polikarpova (ranked 58th) and high Group J.
Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt, whom she is prone to meet in pre-quarters, must also not pose a lot of a bother, given Sindhu’s superior 4-1 document. A win is predicted to place her face-to-face with World No. 5 Japanese star Akane Yamaguchi, whom she has overwhelmed at All England just lately.
Sindhu would possibly cross swords with world no 1 Taiwanese Tai Tzu Ying, one whom Park considers her fiercest rival if she will cross this hurdle.
B SAI PRANEETH (Men’s Singles):
Making his debut on the Olympics, the immensely-gifted Praneeth might be one of many darkish horses and would possibly spring a shock on the world’s largest stage together with his reservoir of expertise.
Praneeth had walked out of the shadow of his illustrious compatriots comparable to Sindhu, Saina, and Kidambi Srikanth with a maiden Super Series title on the 2017 Singapore Open however was hampered by health points.
The 2019 World Championship catapulted him to the highest 10 as he grew to become the primary Indian male shuttler after the legendary Prakash Padukone to return with a medal — a bronze — from the celebrated event.
A false constructive in Thailand spoilt his return to the game following the COVID break. He has labored on his health in the previous few months and with a comparatively simpler draw at hand, he has an outdoor probability of bettering the quarterfinal end of his compatriots Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap in earlier Games.
It can be simpler stated than completed contemplating that he must get the higher of high contenders comparable to Japan’s high seed Kento Momota, Rio bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen, Taiwanese Chou Tien Chen, China’s Shi Yu Qi amongst others, whom, he has not overwhelmed ever in his profession.
CHIRAG SHETTY and SATWIKSAIRAJ RANKIREDDY (Men’s Doubles):
One of essentially the most thrilling males’s doubles pairs in world badminton, Chirag and Satwik have raised their bars with every passing event and underneath the steering of former Olympic medallist coach Mathias Boe of Denmark, they’re able to writing a new chapter for Indian doubles at Olympics.
The 24-year-old Chirag from Mumbai and Satwik, 20, from Amalapuram is simply the second Indian males’s pair to qualify for the Olympics and are getting into the Games as underdogs.
The duo had bagged India’s maiden males’s doubles silver medal on the 2018 Commonwealth Games, earlier than happening a title run at Thailand Super 500 and a ultimate end at French Super 750 in 2019.
The Indian pair additionally reached the semifinals at Thailand Super 1000 in January this 12 months.
They additionally had their share of non-public battles in opposition to COVID-19 as Chirag misplaced his grandfather in April and Satwik himself was down with the dreaded virus final 12 months.
The duo is in a robust draw, squeezed alongside the world primary and top-seed Indonesians Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon, world quantity three Chinese Taipei pair of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin and England’s Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in Group A.
But Chirag is aware of if they’ve to succeed in the knockout phases, they must get the higher of one of the best and stated they’re up for the problem.
The badminton competitors will begin on July 24.