Aug 8, 2011

Indian players set for world badminton meet

Wembley Arena Indoor Stadium
Wembley Arena Indoor Stadium, London

Saina Nehwal lone trust in women’s singles as world meets to be dress rehearsal for 2012 Olympics.

A young Indian contingent will be testing its skills at the World Badminton Championships which get under way in London on Monday. The tournament, which ends August 14, will be will be held at the 12,500-capacity Wembley Arena Indoor Stadium, which will also be the venue for the sport at the 2012 London Olympics.

This will be a great chance to impress national coach Pulela Gopichand as Kashyap Parupalli and Ajay Jayaram will spearhead the dispute in the men’s draw.

This would be Kashyap’s third outing in the World Championships. In 2009, when the event was carried on first time in India at his hometown Hyderabad, he lost in the second round and in 2010; he lost in the first round in Paris.

Kashyap Parupalli
Kashyap Parupalli

However Kashyap has improved extremely over the last year with remarkable wins over higher ranked players and has also bagged the Commonwealth Games bronze medal. Going into the tournament as India No. 1, Kashyap would be looking to showcase his talent and go as far as achievable. He will face Dieter Domke of Germany in the opening round.

Ajay Jayaram
Ajay Jayaram

Indian No. 2, Ajay Jayaram will be playing his awfully first world championship. He will be against Japan’s Kenichi Tago who is the 15th seed. “The preparations have been good and I am up for the challenge. This is a huge occasion and probably the biggest tournament, so, I am very excited,” said Jayaram.

“I have been training hard for this and tried to improve my game, I feel quite fit, so, let’s hope for the best,” he added.

Jayaram has impressed against the likes of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, 2010 world champion Chen Jin, world No. 3 Peter Gade a moment ago. Although he has not defeated them, Ajay has taken his matches versus them till the very end, where higher ranked players have withered away fast.

He said, “I have come quite close against top players, but could not finish of the games. Hopefully, if I meet them now I can beat them.”

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

The women’s draw has the only entry of Saina Nehwal, who has got a first round bye. The seed No. 6, has shown that she can easily arise to the dominant Chinese players. The world No. 6, a winner of three Super Series titles, would be looking to win the honored tournament.

In men’s doubles, India’s No. 1 seasoned pair Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas will face Michael Fuchs and Oliver Roth of Germany. Young pair of Pranav Chopra and Tarun Kona will fight it out versus Hung Ling Chen and Yu Lang Lin of Chinese Taipei.

Kona, who played in the 2009 world championships in India with Arun Vishnu, would be facing the same opposition in the first round. He said, “We were too young when we played them last time. This time we are more prepared and our aim is to win.”

Jwala Gutta and Ashvini Ponnappa
Jwala Gutta and Ashvini Ponnappa

In the women’s doubles event, 2010 Commonwealth gold medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashvini Ponnappa are up against Eva Lee and Paula Lynn Obanana of USA in the first round.

In mixed doubles Diju Valiyaveetil is approaching back after his long have a rest after recovering from the medical treatment he had to undergo along with Jwala. The 16th seeds have got a first round bye.

Winning the tournament would be intend for all, but in hindsight the Indian players would be looking at the World badminton Championships as a springboard to next year’s Olympics.

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