Perhaps no other Indian sport was as promising as badminton at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
India has never won an Asiad gold medal in badminton, one of the country’s most internationally successful sports.
India last won a men’s singles medal at the Asiad in 1982, a bronze for Syed Modi. Both droughts may very well end in Hangzhou.
It certainly won’t be easy, with the games being held in China, tough draws and a cloud of injury hanging over the HS romance. Winning an Asiad medal is arguably harder than one at the World Championships, as it happens every year except for an Olympics.
But if any year is in India’s favour, it has to be 2023. Already, the Indian men have broken new ground by winning their first team medal since 1986. A close final loss to China could fuel them. need
The men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are the reigning Asian champions, having won the title in April, and HS Prannoy is coming off a maiden World Championship medal.
There are also proven medal hopes in a season when last time silver medalist and one of India’s best athletes PV Sindhu is having a torrid season, speaking of Indian badminton’s recent consistency.
Individual events will begin on October 2 Here’s a look at India’s draw and odds in the group competition:
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It has a bit of a cloud over it as only two entries are allowed per country.
India’s Asian Games squad was named in May after a round of selection trials in which higher-ranked players were exempted. The highlight was Kidambi Srikanth beating Lakshya Sen to finish second. Lasha has hit good form since then while Srikanth has been erratic and after Sunday, he could be more off-kilter after losing a crucial match in the men’s team final on Sunday.
Men’s Singles: HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth
Women’s Singles: PV Sindhu, Asmita Chaliha
Men’s Doubles: Satviksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty and Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun
Women’s Doubles: Gayatri Gopichand/Trisa Jolly and Ashwini Ponnappa/Tanisha Crasto
Mixed Doubles: Rohan Kapoor/N Sikki Reddy and Sai Pratik K/Tanisha Krasto.
Fifth seed Prannoy, who missed the team’s final event due to a back injury, has a first-round bye and will have some time to recover before taking on Mongolia’s Batdava Munkhbat in the second round.
His first real test will be in the quarter-finals, where he is likely to face world champion Kunlavut Vitidsorn of Thailand – whom he trails head-to-head 0-2. Unwanted Li Ji Xiao lurks in this section and may cause a surprise.
For a medal, Prannoy will have to advance to the semi-finals, which will mean beating someone he has yet to beat. If he does, he could play top seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting or sixth seed Li Shi Feng. It’s a tough ask but Pramney has the ability and experience to step up his game when needed. He beat Viktor Axelsen in Denmark to get a world championship medal, after all!
Srikanth will play Vietnam’s Le Duc Phat in the first round and a win will see him play South Korea’s Lee Yongyu. Second seed Kodai is likely to face Naraoka in the third round while Loh Ken U  Another seed in his division.
Given his potential, Srikanth may show some upsets but much will depend on how much he mentally recovers from the men’s final.
The big question is which version of Sindh will be displayed in Hangzhou?
The 2018 silver medalist has had a tough season since her injury comeback in January and will be looking to change that in a tournament she has always done well.
Also read- Will the real PV Sindhu please stand up?
Seeded seventh, he will open his campaign in the second round against Chinese Taipei’s Wen Chi Hu, who he defeated in their only meeting earlier this year.
Her third round will likely be against Indonesia’s Putri Kusuma Wardani – they have played twice this year and are tied 1-1.
If he overcomes these two hurdles, he can run into China’s fourth seed He Bing Zhao in the quarters. A very familiar opponent, she leads Sindhu 10-9 and if that happens, this could be the kind of matchup for Sindhu to regain her touch. A win would mean a medal and a much-needed turning point for the Indians.
Asmita Chahila also had a first round exit and will face fifth seed Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia in the second round. Defending champion Tai Joo Ying is the other seed in this quarter.
That’s the big one to watch out for – World No. 3 Satvik-Chirag have been one of the most consistent pairs this season and have big hopes on their shoulders.
The second seed opens against Hong Kong’s Louis Chun Wai and Chow Hin Long (first meeting) and is expected to play the Indonesian pair of Leo Roly Karnando and Daniel Marthin, who they lead 2-0, in the second round.
Doubles is a short draw and they are the only seeds in their division so should easily make it to the semi-finals… where they could take on reigning world champions Seo Seungjae and Kang Minhyuk. They lost to the South Koreans in the group semi-finals but led them 3-1 on tour.
But given how erratic men’s doubles has been on the BWF Tour this season, it remains an open draw with former world champions Aaron Chia and Soh Woo-eyk, and underdogs like Takuro Haki and Yugo Kobayashi.
The other Indian pair, Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun, are just as tough as their openers and potential Olympic champions draw with the Japanese pair of Hoki and Kobayashi.
After a torrid start to the season that saw them medal at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship in February this year and reach the semi-finals again at the All England, India’s No. 1 pair of Trisa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand have not had a good few months.
They start against Maldives’ Aminath Razzak and Fathimath Razzak in the first round and will take on third seeds Kim So Young and Kang Hee Young – the women’s team champions.
Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa will take on Maisa Ismail and Aisath Rashed of Maldives in the first round but will likely face the world no. 5 Zhang Su Xian and Zheng Yuw in the second round.
Rohan Kapoor and N Sikki Reddy will face off against world no. 12 Lai Shevon Jamie and Goh Soon Huat of Malaysia.
Tanisha and Tsai defeated Macau’s Leong Lok Chong and Weng Chi Ng in the first round and will meet Chen Tang Jie and Toh Yee Wei in the second round.