Badminton: India

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Indian badminton players at the Worlds as on August 16, 2015; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India

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Contents

INDIA’S LANDMARK SINGLES VICTORIES

The Times of India 2013/08/10

PRAKASH PADUKONE

All England title 1980; Winner World Cup 1981; Commonwealth Games singles gold 1978; Bronze at World Championships 1983

SYED MODI

Commonwealth Games singles gold 1982; Bronze at Delhi Asian Games

PULLELA GOPICHAND

All England title 2001

APARNA POPAT

Runner-up World Junior Championship 1996; French Open 1998; Silver at Commonwealth Games 1998

SAINA NEHWAL

Bronze at London Olympics 2012; Gold at Commonwealth Games 2010; 17 major international titles

The Times of India, Aug 20 2016

Manne Ratnakar

Saina's trademark clam on court helps her deal with pesky opponents who try to rattle her with body smashes and stares. Sindhu, on her part, doesn't like body smashes and would get easily rattled and concede points. It's because of this that she tended to lose many matches from winning positions.

Saina, a proven champion, interestingly does not believe she is a natural stroke maker. She has herself admitted on a number of occasions that she lacked natural talent compared to some other players. Saina relies more on hard work and training and needs at least six to eight weeks to peak before a tournament.

PARUPALLI KASHYAP

Bronze at Commonwealth Games 2010

PV Sindhu

Badminton, P V Sindhu, Marin and Saina Nehwal; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, August 20, 2016

Bronze at World Badminton Championships, China, 2013

The Times of India, Aug 20 2016

Manne Ratnakar

PV Sindhu has seized the opportunity to unleash her electric prowess as a shuttler on the greatest stage of all, eventually becoming the first female sportsperson to win a silver for India.

Sindhu has numerous chinks in her defence but in 2016, she has worked hard on reducing the chinks. She looks solid in defence now and has sur prised many with her retrieving ability . Saina likes faster court conditions -when the shuttle is moving fast between the courts it will be advantage Saina. Sindhu prefers the opposite, she likes if the shuttle is slow. That is why in Asian conditions, where they use air conditioners, the shuttle moves well and Saina performs better. In Brazil, however, the shuttle moved slower and Sindhu was on a roll.

At the Olympics 2016, Sindhu has been a revelation. She was cool like a cucumber even in the gold medal match and hardly ever seemed annoyed throughout her memorable campaign.

Standing tall at 5'11“, Sindhu likes to pack her shots with a lot of power. Saina, however, is a rally player who wears down the opponent and pounces on the mistakes of others.

2014:Watershed year

The Times of India

Dec 27 2014

UNPRECEDENTED LEAP IN BADMINTON

Amit Kumar Das

It turned out to be a watershed year for Indian badminton as the home shuttlers clinched no less than eight individual titles and also broke new grounds in team championships, making India a dominant force at the international stage Saina Nehwal and K. Srikanth clinching titles at China Super Series Premier and P.V. Sindhu bagging five bronze, including a World Championship medal, besides the historic bronze medals at Uber Cup and Asian Games, were the highlights of the year in which Indian badminton achieved unprecedented success at the global platform. If Saina led the resurgence of Indian badminton in the last few years, the year also saw the emergence of younger stars, who made it a terrific season with the help of their stupen dous performance.

While Saina scooped three titles, Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, Aravind Bhat, Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy -all laid their hands on the crown at least once in the year gone by.In fact, Saurabh Verma and P.C. Thulasi also won titles in the International challenge category.

It was yet again Saina who set things in motion with a victory at the India Grand Prix Gold, which finally broke her long title drought. The Indian ace added two more titles to her kitty, clinching the Australia Super Series at Sydney in June and China Super Series Premier at Fuzhou in November.

While Saina blew hot and cold, teen sensation Sindhu continued to make big strides in world badminton with her performance, which saw her reach the finals of India Grand Prix Gold first in Lucknow and then winning the bronze at the Asian Badminton Championship in Gimcheon.

In fact, Indian women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Poppanna also made their presence felt by clinching the bronze in the same tournament in April.

Next month, India hosted the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup Finals for the first time and Saina and Sindhu ensured that it turned out to be a memorable one as they shepherded the women's team to a historic bronze.

Sindhu had a golden chance of winning the Commonwealth Games women's singles title in July but the Indian had to settle for a bronze when she lost to Michelle Li of Canada.

2014: Shuttlers: Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu

The Times of India, Dec 31 2014

The fabulous feats of Indian shuttlers made 2014 the breakout year for Indian badminton. But no one could match the achievement of Kidambi Srikanth. Defying all predictions, the 21-year-old won the China Open Super Series, beating multiple World and Olympic champion Lin Dan in the final. He finished the year ranked No. 4 in the world. After a barren 2013, Saina Nehwal made an impressive comeback this year. She thrashed World Champion Carolina Marin of Spain to clinch the Australian Super Series and then grabbed the China Open, beating the Chinese on way to the final. PV Sindhu bagged bronze in Glasgow and helped the Indian team claim its first-ever Asiad and Uber Cup bronze.

2015

Garaga, Rankireddy win Badminton Asia Championships boys doubles

The Times of India, October 12, 2015

The budding doubles duo of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy clinched boys doubles gold in the Badminton Asia Championships in Kudus, Indonesia Jayaram outclassed Raul Must of Indonesia in straight games 21-12, 21-18. Under-17 boys Krishna and Satwik, who train at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy , trounced Jun Hau Leong and Fong Hau Sim of Malaysia 21-16, 21-15 in straight games. Such was the domina tion of these Hyderabadi shuttlers that they did not even lose a single game in the entire tournament. Not only that, they were not even forced to save a game point. In 2014, KrishnaSatwik claimed bronze at this Continental meet.

October 2015: Srikanth climbs to fifth in rankings; Saina is second

The Times of India, Oct 30 2015

Srikanth climbs to fifth in rankings; Saina is second

Top Indian male shutler Kidambi Srikanth climbed up place to fifth, while Saina Nehwal remained static on No. 2 in the atest Badminton World Federa ion (BWF) rankings released on Thursday . Srikanth gained a spot n the men's singles ranking.

Manu-Sumeeth bag GP title in Mexico

The Times of India Dec 22 2015

Manne Ratnakar

Hyderabad

Ending a five-year drought, the fast rising doubles combination of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy claimed their maiden Grand Prix crown with a 22-20, 21-18 victory over BodinIssara and NipitphonPuangpuapech of Thailand in the Mexico Open final on Sunday . The duo, who trains at the Pullela Gopichand Academy here, faced a stiff resistance in the first game as the Thais saved four game points from 1620 before the Indians claimed it. In the second, the Indians got off to a brisk start and maintained a healthy lead over their rivals right throughout. After Olympians Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas won the Bitburger Open in 2010, this is the best ever performance by an Indian men's doubles team. “This is a great win for both of us.We've worked really hard and this is the result of our hard work. We would like to thank our coach Pullela Gopichand, doubles coach Kim Tan Her and BAI officials for supporting us. Many thanks to our parents, it's because of their prayers and blessings we are here,“ Manu told TOI from Mexico City on Monday . The players, who have been consistent this year, were close to clinching their first GP title twice before. They missed out winning the titles in US Grand Prix in June and Dutch Open in October despite dishing out some inspired performances in the initial rounds. “It turned out to be a good year for us. And finishing off with a title is amazing. We started confidently . It was a bit tricky in the final, it was all about speed and tactics,“Sumeeth said.

2016

2016: Asia Championship

The Times of India, Feb 21 2016

Manne Ratnakar

Shuttlers lose in Asia C'ship semis

HS Prannoy , saviour of the hosts for the last two days, could not repeat the magic as his team bowed out of the tie much before his arrival, losing 1-3 to Indonesia in the semifinals of the Badminton Asia Team Championships at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium. With this loss Indian men bagged the bronze medal, their first in last three decades.

Though Kidambi Srikanth gave a solid start to his team, the hosts lost the next three ties and crashed out of the tournament. After winning the first game without much difficulty against in form Tommy Sugiarto, Srikanth was unlucky to lose the closely-fought second game. However, the top ranked Indian shifted gears in the decider and played an attacking game to oust Tommy 21-14, 23-25, 21-9.

Doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy proved no match for Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-11, 2110. In the second singles, world No.25 Ajay Jayaram tried hard before going down to Anthony Ginting 15-21, 20-22.

2016: Uber Cup

Women

The Times of India, May 20, 2016

Quarterfinals When the top gun, misfired youngster RuthvikaShivani came to the rescue with a stupendous display to assure her team of a bronze with a 3-1 victory against Thailand in the Uber Cup quarterfinals on Thursday.

This will be only the second medal for India at this prestigious team event. Indian women had won bronze at the last edition.

For a long time, SainaNehwal had carried Indian hopes. But the off-colour Hyderabadi faltered on the day to give India a poor start. PV Sindhu, however, stepped up and put the campaign back on rails with a dominant 21-18, 21-7 victory against BusananOngbumrungphan.

JwalaGutta and Ashwini Ponnappa made it 2-1for with a 21-19, 21-12 win against PuttitaSupajirakul and SapsireeTaerattanachai.

Ruthvika then proved her mettle. No one expected her to get past a tough opponent like NitchaonJindapol, the world No.25 who has been giving top shuttlers a tough time. She had even defeated PV Sindhu in January this year.Ruthvika came up with a stunning show and registered a 21-18, 21-16 victory . Leading 20-10, Ruthvika conceded eight points before winning the first game at 21-18.

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