Indian contingent is set to take part in 16 disciplines this year, with badminton one of them.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games are set to be held in Birmingham, England with less than a fortnight away. The Alexander Stadium will serve as the Games’ main venue, which will see nearly 72 nations take part.
India has always performed well at these Games, with the subcontinent nation finishing third behind Australia and England in 2018. A 215-member Indian contingent is set to take part in 16 disciplines this year, with badminton one of them.
Badminton is one of the more popular sports in the Games, having made its debut in the 1966 edition held in Jamaica. England, Malaysia and India and Canada are the Games’ most successful nations in the sport, winning 109, 64, 25 and 19 medals respectively.
Here’s a look at the history of the sport in the Commonwealth Games, the Indian badminton contingent this year and what’s expected from the country’s top shuttlers in Birmingham.
Badminton began with five events, which increased to six in 1978 with the introduction of the team events.
Prakash Padukone was the first Indian player to taste success at the Games. He defeated Brit Derek Talbot in straight sets (15-9, 15-8) to win the country’s first badminton Commonwealth Games medal.
With 109 medals, England is the most successful nation in badminton to date. In second place is Malaysia, with 64 medals. India ranks third with a total of 25 medals.
Badminton at the 2022 Commonwealth Games
The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games is the 15th edition where badminton will be played. The National Exhibition Centre in Solihull will serve as its center for the sport.
All nations can enter with a limit of five men and five women overall. In addition, 16 nations will compete in the mixed team event based on their rankings.
There are a total of 18 medals up for grabs.
With shooting not in the picture at this year’s Games, badminton will be of prime importance for India. The presence of top stars like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth has made India one of the stronger nations in the sport.
India has won two golds, three silvers and one bronze medal in the last edition including Saina Nehwal’s women’s singles triumph. However, she will be absent in England, the Indian contingent has a good mix of experience and youth.
The Indian men will head into the competition on the back of a big victory at the Thomas Cup. All eyes will definitely be on PV Sindhu to lead the charge among the women. On that note, here’s a look at the men and women shuttles who will be representing the tricolour at the Commonwealth Games.
Men’s Badminton Squad
Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, Sumeeth Reddy
Women’s Badminton Squad
PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Gayatri Gopichand, Treesa Jolly, Ashwini Ponnappa
Read our previous all you need to know pieces on Boxing, Women’s and Men’s Hockey, Wrestling and Cricket.
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