NEW DELHI: With the absence of Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu and K. Srikanth will lead the Indian charge at the $200,000 Asian Badminton championship which will start at Gimcheon, Korea on Tuesday.
Saina Nehwal, who won a bronze at the 2010 Asian Badminton Championship, had decided to skip the tournament to focus on the Thomas and Uber Cup next month.
The 18-year-old Sindhu, will start the tournament playing against Yi Cheung Ngan from Hong Kong on Wednesday, and is likely to meet Japan’s Eriko Hirose in the second round.
If everything goes well for Sindhu, the World Championship bronze-medalist will fancy avenging her India Open loss to Wang Shixian, the top seed in the tournament.
In men’s singles, the spotlight belongs to K. Srikanth and Lin Dan- the two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion.
BadmintonPlanet.com provided exclusive coverage last week on how “Super Dan” made a successful return to international badminton by winning the China Masters, beating compatriot Tina Houwei in straight games.
However, Srikanth, who has gained the reputation of a giant killer, played an exceptional game against world no 1, Lee Chong Wei in the semifinals of Singapore Open and he would try to give the world’s best player a tough fight.
“This would be the second time I play against him. I played Lin Dan two years ago in Thailand. He is a fantastic player and he just won the China Masters last week,” Srikanth said.
“I am going to give my 100% and enjoy the match with Lin Dan. My game against Lee Chong Wei in Singapore few weeks ago really boosted my confidence. I played really well in that game, but I made a few mistakes in the end of the game and I’ll try not to repeat those,” added Srikanth.
Other Indian such as Parupalli Kashyap will be up against Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat, while RMV Gurusaidutt will square off against Phetpradab Khosit of Thailand in another men’s singles match.
Commonwealth Games gold-medalists, Ashwini Ponnappa and the beautiful Jwala Gutta will face off against Singapore’s Fu Mingtian and Neo Yu Yan Vanessa in the women’s doubles competition.
Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will take on the Malaysian pair of Low Juan Shen and Heg Nelson Wei Keat, while Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra will clash with Chinese combo of Zhang Wen and Wang Yilv in men’s doubles competition.