Mumbai: With the World Badminton Championship all set to begin on August 21 in Glasgow the Indian shuttlers are all set to sweat it out at the mega event. World No 5 PV Sindhu and World No 8 Kidambi Srikanth will be leading the Indian challenge and are also the primary medal contenders at this Championship.
The Indian badminton players have caused quite a stir in the circuit over the last year, which has not only brought country in limelight and but have also made India a powerhouse in the sport. This year India will be sending its largest contingent to the event .
The 24-year-old has become a household name in India after his fantastic run of form in last few Super Series tournaments. Srikanth has won back-to-back Super Series title at the Indonesia Open and the Australian Open. He also reached the final of Singapore Open but lost to compatriot B Sai Praneeth in the final.
Apart from winning titles, Srikanth also created history by reaching three consecutive finals, becoming the first Indian men’s singles player and just the sixth player in history to achieve this feat. The Guntur-born player, who is currently the World No 8 in BWF ranking will be a strong contender for World Championship title.
The Mumbai-based shuttler is not in the best of the form coming into this tournament. In the last two tournaments Jayaram made early exit. The World No 28 lost in the second round of the Australian Open to world no 9 NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong, while in the recently concluded New Zealand Open Jayaram was knocked out in the first round by Chinese Taipe’s Chia Hung Lu.
Seeded 13th, Jayaram has an relatively easy opener in the form of World No. 111 Luka Wraber of Austria; his path gets tougher in the third round where he may face fifth seed and Olympic champion Chen Long.
B Sai Praneeth
The Hyderabad shuttler is currently ranked 19th in the world. Coming into the World Championships. Praneeth’s form makes him one of the main Indian challengers for the title. This year, Praneeth has won the BWF Grand Prix title in Thailand and BWF Super title in Singapore, where he defeated compatriot Kidambi Srikanth in the final.
The 25-year-old will face 44th ranked Wei Nan in his first round of the World Championship. The Singapore Open Super Series champion could, however, face a rather stiff test in the pre-quarterfinals, where he could come face-to-face with sixth seed Chou Tien Chen.
Sameer Verma, India’s only unseeded men’s singles player in the tournament, reached the quarterfinal of the US Open and faces a rather tough path in the World Championship.
Verma has to deal with 36th ranked Pablo Abian in the opening round, before a second round contest with the 16th seed Rajiv Ouseph looms large in the horizon. If he does manage to overcome the Englishman, he faces a difficult third round clash against Lin Dan.
The 22-year-old is India’s primary contender to win a medal at World Championship. With World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying not participating, Sindhu has a bright chance of bringing home a medal.
Following a first round bye, Sindhu will start her campaign against the World No 41 Kim Hyo Min in the second round. In the third round Sindhu will be facing the winner of the clash between 13th seed Cheung Ngan Yi in the third round. The big threat to her medal prospect is Chinese fifth seed Sun Yu, who she could face in the quarterfinals.
The Hyderabadi shuttler has been the face of Indian badminton for a very long time. The 12th seeded Indian has also received bye in the first round. The path to glory won’t be easy for Saina, though, as she could be up against second seed Sung Ji Hyun in the pre-quarter-finals.
In a recent meeting between Saina and Sung Ji Hyun at Australian Open in June, Saina emerged victorious. If Saina does get past her Korean opponent, she may face Carolina Marin the semis, which could be a rematch of 2015 final between the two.
Other women shuttlers in singles draw are 91st ranked Tanvi Lad, who will face World No 83 Chloe Birch of England, while the national champion Rituparna Das will tackle World No 54 Airi Mikkela of Finland.
The World Championship will be a great exposure for this Mumbai shuttler, who is currently ranked No 93 in the world.
The 24-year -old will play against England’s 85th ranked Chloe Birch in the first round who she had beaten the English girl at the November 2015 Welsh International in three games. However, the young shuttler will face off against the No 2 seed, Sung Ji Hyun from South Korea.
The fourth Indian play in women’s singles competition. Das has been handed relatively easy draw where she will be playing Airi Mikkela of Finland, ranked 54th in the world.
The 20-year-old shuttler, who is ranked at no 46, has a great chance of picking up a victory against her Finnish opponent, and progressing into second-round meeting, where she could meet world no 16 seed Kirsty Gilmour from Scotland. But the path gets tougher in the third round, where she could come across 6th seed Chinese He Bingjiao, currently ranked 7th in the world.
B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri
The experienced Indian doubles pair will be looking to put up a good show at World Badminton Championship. The unseeded duo, who were recently dethroned as India’s No 1 doubles pair have tough draw in their hands.
The pair will be facing Koren pair of Chung Eui Seok and Kim Duk Young in the opening round and if they do manage to clear the first round, they will be up against no 5 seed Shem Goh and Tan Wee Kiang from Malaysia.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty
The young Indian doubles pair will be looking to make their presence felt at the tournament. The two recently became India’s No1 men’s doubles team overtaking veterans Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy.
The young pair will me meeting Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe of Japan in the first round. If the India duo manages to win their first round they will face Olympic champion pair of Zhang Nan and Liu Cheng in the second round.
Shlok Ramchandran and M R Arjun
For the first-timers at the World Championships, playing at such a big tournament will be a great experience. The Indian duo will take on the Chinese Taipei combination of veteran Liao Min Chun and Cheng Heng Su, who are currently ranked 35th berth in the BWF doubles standings. Their winners could take on the 12th seeded Danish duo of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in the next round.
Ashwini Ponappa and Siki Reddy
India’s top women’s doubles pair ranked No 25 in the world, have been relatively easy first round match against Indonesians Ririn Amelia and Anna Ching Yik Cheong, who are currently ranked No 51 in the BWF ranking.
If the Indians do manage to win their opening encounter they have a tough second round match against the Danish pair of Kamilia Ryter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy
This mixed doubles pair from India has received 15th seeding in the tournament. The pair, who received a bye in their first round, will face the winners of the match between the Indo-Malaysian combination of Yogendran Khrishnan-Prajakta Sawant and the Chinese Taipei pairing of Lu Ching Yao and Chiang Kai Hsin in their second outing.
A win in the second round could see them face 7th seeds Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto of Indonesia in the pre -quarterfinals. Their winner could take on Chinese no 1 seeds, Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen, in the quarter final.
Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy
The second Indian pair in the mixed doubles event are currently ranked 56th in the world rankings. The Indian duo takes on the Australian pair of Sawan Serasinghe and Setyana Mapasa, ranked 38th in the world.