GoBadminton File

BWF World Championships 2018: The Indian Avengers

By: Swetha Reddy
Date: 27 Jul, 2018
Image Courtesy: GoBadminton File

The most stupendous contingent from India, either be it the debut match or the match to avenge, will assemble at the distinguished event, the BWF World Championships 2018 from July 30th to August 5th in Nanjing, China.


What are the chances of Indian contingent at the contest? The chances are very high of winning at least a medal. How can we say that? Well, the Indian badminton has been witnessing massive changes since past two years. The rise of the players in singles and doubles, who have been gaining the spotlight on the international platform is commendable.


If it is PV Sindhu’s silver in 2016 Olympics, it is Kidambi Srikanth’s four Super Series titles in 2017. And not to forget, Saina proved herself, yet, again by winning gold at the Commonwealth Games 2018 individual event.


Meanwhile, the doubles players made sure that slowly they would fall into place, and today they did, they proved.


Here’s a look at all the Indian medallists at the World Badminton Championships.


Indian badminton records at the World Championships


It all started with Prakash Padukone, the badminton flagbearer of the country, who won the first medal, bronze, in 1983 at Copenhagen. Prakash, though, gave the tough fight in the semi-finals, eventually succumbed to the Indonesian Icuk Sugiarto.


After 14 editions in 2011, doubles aces Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had been the sole Indian hope for a doubles medal at the tournament. They justified their billing to clinch bronze against the Chinese duo Tian Qing and Yunlei and scripted the history of winning the first doubles medal.


PV Sindhu remained as the only Indian to have won back-to-back World Championships titles. The young prodigy won bronze against Ratchanok Intanon in 2013, after defeating the strong home favourites Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian in successive rounds.


Being the 11th seed at the 2014 edition, the Indian outplayed the second seed Chinese Wang Shixian in quarter-finals and lost to the Spaniard Carolina Marin in the Semi-Finals; Sindhu brought home the consecutive second bronze. And that was not the end, Sindhu changed the color of the medal to silver after losing to the Japanese Nozomi Okuhara in 2017.


Memories of Sindhu and Okuhara battling in one of the greatest matches of all time during the summit clash in Glasgow last year is still fresh in the minds of badminton aficionados.


Saina Nehwal, created history by winning the first silver at the Worlds in 2015 against Marin, who proved to be too good for an Indian yet again. And collected her second medal, this time bronze, losing to Nozomi Okuhara in 2017.


Sindhu’s Epic 2017 Finals


Last season was unusual than ever when Sindhu lost in the pinnacle match but won a million hearts with the silver medal. The Indians learnt a new name, Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, who was the more consistent player on court, controlling the rallies more often, making fewer errors, and seeming to have more energy despite the marathon with tranquility. The scorecard read the close numbers; the match could be anyone’s and that was not Indian’s. 


But, the highlight of the show was the-73-shot rally, which was won by Sindhu.


The Avengers of 2018


The Indian powerhouse with an exalted number of entries shares the rostrum at an eminent event, which is the only elite competition that features 64-player draws. 


Ending with a peculiar story at the podium every year, the World Championships feature the tale of comebacks, debuts, star faceoffs, and nerve-racking rallies, where India remains at least a cameo since quite a some time now.


Seeded entries in the Singles event are PV Sindhu (3), Saina Nehwal (10), Kidambi Srikanth (5), and HS Prannoy (11), while B. Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma are unseeds.


Four pairs in each of the doubles disciplines will step on court to fight for the title at Nanjing.


In Men’s Doubles, Nationals champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will share the dias with the 2018 CWG silver medallist Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, while we have to wait and see if CWG Bronze medallist Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy N had improved at the Worlds.


Ashwini and Sikki will also pair up with Satwik and Pranaav Jerry Chopra in the Mixed Doubles event. Other Indians competing in the category are Kuhoo Garg and Rohan Kapoor, and Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh.


The young pair, Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok, who made an early exit in the previous season, will be seen competing joining Tarun Kona and Saurabh Sharma.


In the Women’s Doubles, Kuhoo and Ningshi Block Hazarika, Jakkampudi Meghana and S Ram Poorvisha, and Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant will be seen in the action.


This time, we can’t get to see Sindhu vs Okuhara in the uphill-tasks after quarterfinals, as both the players are drawn in the same set, while, more chances are there for Saina this time as she broke the jinx of age-barrier by winning 2018 CWG gold.


With the ebb and flow of Men’s Singles - Srikanth’s consistency wins in the calendar year, Prannoy proving as the real beast by defeating the badminton legends, Praneeth’s slowly but surely strategy, Sameer’s strong comebacks after injury filled gaps - doubles good doing at the Asia level games and juniors’ exposed talent at the Nationals, the passion and toil of the Indians is tested truly at the BWF World Championships 2018. 


With the strapping contingent from the country, this time, can we expect more than one medals at the World Championships?? Let us wait and watch.

Share this post with your friends

Visitors Guru
Most Viewed
Stay Connected