Tag Archives: Saina

Indian Shuttlers Can Win Two Medals In Rio Olympics: BAI Chief

NEW DELHI: With the governing body of the sport in the country, BAI is hopeful of winning at least two medals by the country’s shuttlers in the Olympic Games later this year probing into the profile of Indian badminton surging in recent years.

While commenting on the medals, Badminton Association of India president Akhilesh Das Gupta on Saturday said that the country can win at least two medals in Rio Games.

He said that a silver or a gold is not beyond the reach of Indian shuttlers.

Mr. Akilesh Das Gupta.

Mr. Akilesh Das Gupta.

“India can win at least two medals in Rio Olympics. Our shuttlers are capable of doing that. Even the colour of the medal can be better (than the bronze won by Saina in London),” Das Gupta said.

Speaking about the PBL 2016, Akilesh commented, “PBL will benefit the Indian shuttlers as they are playing top players from all over the world and this is the view of the leading players of the world,” he added.

“Saina did not play in two matches as he was not fit. It is up to the player to decide whether he or she is fit, and to play or not. Nobody gave pressure to her to play,” Das Gupta said.

Saina did not play the opening match of the tournament on January 2 in Mumbai, citing injury. She played the two home matches for her team in Lucknow but did not take the court in both her team’s ties in Hyderabad.

Lin, Marin Likely To Stay Away From Premier Badminton League

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

MUMBAI: The 2nd edition of Premier Badminton League (PBL) is about to kick-off this Saturday after a two-year gap.

This PBL will not see the world no.1 Carolina Marin and Lin Dan, a two time olympic champion not participating in the tournament is a virtue by the fact that the Rio olympics is just seven months in the tort with many other major tournaments underway for the Olympic qualification.

The PBL is followed by Malaysia Masters (Jan. 19-24), Syed Modi International (Jan 26-31), Thailand Masters (Feb. 8-13), German Open (Mar. 1-6) and Swiss Open (Mar. 15-20) and these tournaments offer crucial ranking points. The All England Championships (March 8-13) would also be high on their priority. Hence, squeezing the PBL in such a packed calendar would have been quite a challenge for the organizers, with many players choosing to enjoy the winter break with their families.

Pullela Gopichand.(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

Pullela Gopichand.
(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

National coach Pullela Gopichand quoted on this occasion saying,
“Lin Dan is not coming. May be he will come in the next edition. Carolina was there last year, but did not even play all matches. Yes, her stature is higher now. She will be missed, but the level is still very high which makes it exciting. Yes, I would love to have more players, but it does not make it any less,” Gopichand told reporters at the launch of the Mumbai Rockets team here on Wednesday.

“Even though it’s an Olympic year (2016), players have shown a great amount of commitment to play. Many of them have rescheduled their existing matches and that’s very encouraging. It’s the year-end and some of them have really gone out of their way. The way I look at it today, with whatever challenges we have had to face, the players we have is fantastic. We have players like Lee Chong Wei (former World No. 1), Mathias Boe, Vladimir Ivanov, Joachim Fischer.

“Each day you will see a Saina playing, Sindhu playing or a world champion playing or an Olympic medallist playing. To have it in different cities, for example to see a Saina play or Lee play, is fantastic. It will encourage kids to watch,” the 42-year-old added.

Mumbai Rocket’s star shuttler H.S. Prannoy also supported Gopichand’s views and commented,

“It is a great learning experience for the youngsters to play alongside big names in the badminton world. PBL has given us the stage for this and we have to make the best use of it,” said the World No. 20 Prannoy.

Gopichand also quoted that a bigger contingent for the Olympics will help India better their tally from London Games.

“There is lot of time before the Olympics. The qualifications for the event haven’t started yet. There are a lot of tournaments before the Olympics for the shuttlers to prepare themselves. To better the performance than what we had done in 2012 would be great. I think to have a bigger contingent there will give us a chance to clinch as many medals as possible. I believe all of our players who qualify will stand a chance to win medals,” accoladed Gopi.

Vrushali Excited To Play In Saina’s Team In PBL

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

Ruthvika. (Image Courtesy: sportsrediscovered.com).

(Image Courtesy: sportsrediscovered.com).

NEW DELHI: Rising Indian shuttler G. Vrushali said it is a dream come true for her to play in a team with Saina Nehwal in Premier Badminton League (PBL) franchise Awadhe Warriors which starts on January 02 2016.

The first match will be between Awadhe Warriors and Mumbai Rockets here.

“It will be dream come true for any player to represent the same team as Saina Nehwal. It will be a huge platform for me as I will even take this as an opportunity to pick up useful learning from her,” Vrushali said on Thursday.

“I am excited and looking forward to play for Awadhe Warriors. Apart from Saina, there are other international players which make our team look very strong and I hope we win the title. What also excites me are the rules which will be a huge game changer in the league.”

India Can Win Medals In Badminton In Rio: Kanetkar

Nikhil kanetkar. (Image Courtesy: www.tedxvitpune.com).

Nikhil kanetkar.
(Image Courtesy: www.tedxvitpune.com).

JAMSHEDPUR: Former shuttler Nikhil Kanetkar on Monday expressed confidence that India have bright chances to grab medals in badminton in the Rio Olympics 2016.

“India has good chance to win medals particularly in the women’s singles and from women’s pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnapa, who have won the bronze medal in the world championship,” said former India No.1 Kanetkar, who was here to coach 30 shuttlers from Jharkhand and West Bengal at Mohan Ahuja Indoor stadium.

“Saina and Sindhu are performing well at the international arena and have very good chances to win medals for the country in singles event in the Olympics,” he said adding, in the men’s section, top rank players like K Srikant were not consistent but, have chances to add up in the medal tally.

“Parupally Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram are other players in the men’s section from whom we can expect a good show. We can also expect medal in the women’s double as Jwala and Ashwini were doing very well,” Kanetkar said.

“As far as our preparation for the Olympics is concerned, coach Pullela Gopichand is doing an excellent job, but our players need to adopt to the conditions to remain in the contest,” he said.

Kanetkar appreciated the “East Singhbhum district Badminton Association” for conducting the three-day coaching camp, Kanetkar said the camp would benefit budding shuttlers of the Eastern region, which has plenty of talent.

On reasons behind Eastern region lagging behind in producing international repute players, Kanetkar said the region needed a good academy with proper infrastructure to promote badminton.

Kanetkar added the academies needed support from respective governments, federations and others to achieve desirable results.

Awadhe Warriors Play Mumbai Rockets In PBL Opener

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

NEW DELHI: Awadhe Warriors, where Saina is locked in will take on Mumbai Rockets in the opening match of the Premier Badminton League in Mumbai on January 2 next year.

The PBL matches will not be held in Chennai due to the recent flood, which delayed the preparation for the event. The home matches of Chennai Smashers will be played at Lucknow and Hyderabad venues. The final will be held here.

With the new rule of the ‘Trump Match’ set to be introduced in the league, other franchises will keep a check on how both the teams use it to their advantage on the first day. Commented PBL Chairman Akhilesh Das Gupta on scheduling of the matches.

“This is a happy moment for each one of us as we are just around the corner for the start to the Premier Badminton League. Each day will be exciting and this we have ensured by the new Format & Rules that we have introduced.

“What has boosted us is the enthusiasm that the franchisees are showing towards the ‘Trump Match’ rule. Post PBL Auction, all the players are gearing-up for one of the most competitive Leagues in the world. With the release of the schedule, teams will start working on their strategies and game-plans.”

Six franchises will hold good for top honours where the matches to be held in five cities viz., Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Six franchises, Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru will compete in the tournament.

Lack Of Depth In Women’s Group: Prakash Padukone

TATA OPEN 2015. (Image Courtesy: httpwww.orissadiary.com).

(Image Courtesy: httpwww.orissadiary.com).

MUMBAI: “I am confident about the depth in men’s singles for the next ten years with so many talented youngsters ready to take over from the likes of P Kashyap once they retire. But the same cannot be said about the women’s singles,” said Prakash at the launch of the 8th edition of the USD 15,000 Tata Open India International Challenge here on Tuesday.

“Apart from Saina and Sindhu, there is none of international class at present. The same is true of the pairs events. A lot of work needs to be done in ladies singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles,” said the former All England champion.

“There is a lot of talent (among boys) in the smaller centres, which is a very good sign for the growth of the game. According to me, badminton has to be ranked in the top 3 sports in India based on popularity, standard and new courts. We are on the right track,” said Prakash.

“The Tata Open is growing bigger by the day. Next year I am told even Gopi (National coach Pullela Gopichand) is going to conduct a tournament (at this level) and then players will have the chance not to have to travel too much as our tournament will be followed by Gopi’s at Hyderabad and the one in Bangladesh,” he said.

Prakash said his academy (PPBA), which has completed twenty years of existence, has shifted its focus to the younger groups so that there’s no duplication with the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad which caters to the seniors.

“I am glad that in the junior nationals the under 17 (Lakshya Sen, Arintap Dasgupta) and 19 (Chirag Sen, Ansal Yadav) winners and runners-up are from our academy though they are from different states. Maisnam Meiraba, the Manipur boy who won the U15 title, is also from our academy,” he said.

He, however, put the onus on verification of the correct age of players on the state associations and the Badminton Association of India, saying his academy is “only for training talented players.”

The Bengaluru based academy is conducting the Tata Open at the Cricket Club of India where 200 shuttlers from nine countries, including hosts India are participating. The finals are scheduled on December 13.

The countries that would be represented along with the hosts are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Uzbekistan.

A total of 144 Indians would take part and the hosts’ challenge in men’s and women’s events. Sameer Verma, world no 53 and Salil Rane, world no 52 are heading the tournament.

World no. 71 Anand Pawar is also to take part in men’s singles along with Malaysian world no. 85 Joo Ven Soong and Thai world no. 95 Khosit Phetpradab.

World no. 80 P. C. Thulasi, who won an earlier edition, is another leading Indian woman player who would be in action along with Malaysian world no. 30 Jing Yi Tee, the top seed, and world no. 39 Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand.

In men’s doubles, Thien How Hoon and Khim Wah Lim of Malaysia are the top seeds followed by the second seeded Indian pair of Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar.

In women’s doubles, a Thai and Malaysian pairs are the top two seeds.

Malaysia will have 28 players in the draw, Singapore 12, Thailand 9 and Indonesia 8, while two players each from Uzbekistan, Lanka and Nepal and one from the Vietnam.

The main draw commences on December 10.

PBL 2016: Bengaluru Team Selectes Srikanth, Ashwini

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

UntitledNEW DELHI: The Bengaluru Top Guns team ended their player auction in the recently concluded player auction in New Delhi on Monday by selecting the current World No. 9 Kidambi Srikanth for $80,000 and doubles specialist Ashwini Ponnappa for $30,000.

China’s Suo Di was selected by them for her base price.

“We didn’t have a lot of time to strategize as we got the player list on the morning of the auction. There were some errors in base prices and it was all a bit frenetic. However, I’m happy with the players at our disposal,” said former international player and Top Guns coach Arvind Bhat. “Our targets were Srikanth and Ashwini and we are happy to have landed both, both from a sporting and marketing perspective,” said Bhat.

“I was surprised that nobody went for Di, who can run top players close,” Bhat, 36, said of the Chinese who came into the side for $15,000. “She could play a decisive role in women’s singles.”

The 22-year-old Di, whose best singles ranking is world No. 32, played Indian ace Saina Nehwal close before losing in the pair’s only meeting in the China Open last year. “She has the capacity to give the likes of Saina and Sindhu a run for their money. We are hopeful she will get us some important wins in the 15-point which will be quite fast,” added Bhat, who retired as a player recently.

Can Saina, Srikanth Defend Their Titles In China Open 2015!

Thaihot China Open 2015

NAGPUR: Saina and Srikanth have to play hard inorder to defend their titles in the China Open Super Series Premier which will get underway at the Haixia Olympic Sports Centre in Fuzhou on Tuesday.

However, Saina, Srikanth, Ajay will be facing the chinese wall in the tournament. They have to breach the tough chinese wall this season too to defent their titles in the Chinese Open 2015.

Last year it is remarkable to note, both Saina and Srikanth won their respective singles encounters. A history to rekone with times ahead.

The major upset in the tournament, last year was the victory of Srikanth over Chinese legend Lin Dan in the men’s singles final, that too in straight games.

Although Saina, now ranked 2nd in the world rankings, is seeded No. 1 here. Saina will clash with Sun Yu of China in her opening round.

Saina has a solid 4-1 record against Sun Yu of China who is curently ranked world No. 11.

If Saina wins the first two rounds, she will run into Ratchanok Intanon in the quarterfinals. Saina lost in the French Open 2015 in her previous tournament.

PV Sindhu is in the bottom half of the 32-player draw will take on Russia’s Ksenia Polikarpova in the first round. If Sindhu clears the first round, she will meet Wang Shixian in her second round.

“The draw is fine for me. I have to give my best to make progress in the tough field. I have an equal record against Shixian,” said Sindhu.

The draw is tough for all the three Indians particularly Ajay Jayaram. Ajay faces top seed Chen Long in Round 1. It is noteable that Ajay lost to Chen Long in the Korea Open Super Series 2015 finals against the Chinese few months ago.

“I played him (Long) in the Korean Open final but lost. Definitely it is a tough opener, but I am feeling positive and am looking forward to the big challenge,” said Ajay after Monday’s practice session.