Top five medal prospects for India in badminton at Hangzhou Asian Games 2023
PV Sindhu is only Indian shuttler to have won silver medal in the Asiad.
India will aim for its first-ever gold medal in badminton at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China, taking place from September 23 to October 8. The badminton competitions are scheduled from September 28 to October 7 at the Beijing Gymnasium; featuring seven events: men’s and women’s teams, men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.
The tournament commences with team events, followed by singles and doubles on October 2. Indian fans can watch the matches live, eagerly anticipating their country’s performance in pursuit of that elusive gold medal.
The Indian badminton contingent for the 2023 Asian Games will consist of 19 players, including 10 men and nine women. Notably, Tanisha Crasto will participate in both women’s and mixed doubles events. PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy, Chirag Shetty–Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (men’s doubles), and Gayatri Gopichand–Treesa Jolly (women’s doubles) secured automatic berths in the team due to their impressive world rankings. The remaining players earned their spots through the selection trials held in Hyderabad.
As we are almost at the dawn of the event, we delve into the top five medal prospects for India in badminton at Asian Games 2023.
5. Gayatri Gopichand Pullela/Treesa Jolly
Eyes will be on the two-time semifinalists pair of Treesa/Gayatri as they can be expected to create some upsets in the tournament. Since 2022, they have been constant names in the women’s doubles division. They helped India clinch its maiden Badminton Asian Mixed Team Championships 2023 bronze medal by winning against the likes of Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan.
In 2022, the young doubles pair clinched the bronze medal in Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Though the year 2023 has not been the best for the teenage duo, they are definitely a pair to look out for in the Asian Games.
4. PV Sindhu
A two-time Olympic medallist and former world champion, PV Sindhu is the only Indian to have won a silver medal in badminton at Asian Games. Although, Sindhu has struggled for a major part of this season and failed to make past the opening two rounds in most competitions, she will be considered to be a threat to the major performing “Fab 4” of this season.
Sindhu has performed exceptionally well in almost all the major tournaments she has played in her career. India’s hopes will be pinned on her for a second individual medal from the Asiad.
3. HS Prannoy
HS Prannoy has been in remarkable form over the past year and a half, achieving several significant milestones. He played a pivotal role in India’s historic Thomas Cup victory and reached the final of the 2022 Swiss Open. This year, he reached two finals on the BWF World Tour, securing victory at the Malaysia Masters in May and a runners-up trophy in a closely contested final at the Australia Open.
However, Prannoy’s most notable individual accomplishment came recently when he secured a long-awaited World Championships medal, marking nearly a decade of effort. His outstanding performances have propelled him to a career-best world ranking of No. 6. His current ranking (7) makes him the highest-ranked Indian singles player in the draw. He will be seeded sixth and surely will be one of the favourites to medal in the event.
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2. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, India’s formidable doubles duo, have been making waves in badminton. They secured a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and followed it with victories at the Swiss Open and Indonesia Open.
Their most cherished win, however, came at the Badminton Asia Championships, where they clinched a historic gold. Starting the season as the world’s fifth-ranked pair, their recent triumphs at the Swiss Open 2023, Indonesia Open 2023, and Korea Open propelled the Indian pair to a career-best second spot in BWF Rankings.
Impressive and unbeaten in all seven finals since 2022, including the Commonwealth Games, Satwik-Chirag remain a dominant force. They will be seeded third and will be favourite to win a maiden gold medal for India in doubles.
1. Indian men’s team
The men’s team will have the best bet to win a maiden gold for India at the Asian Games in badminton. The presence of HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty make India a formidable team. They will be seeded fourth in the event and will start their journey from the quarterfinals stage.
Eyes will be on former World No. 1 and World Championships 2021 silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth as well. After a below-par season, he would like to show up for the event where previously he doesn’t have good records. Sensational Sen would also like to make a mark after a halt while the new pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto can also cause an upset or two.
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