New Delhi, July 23 - The five-member Indian badminton team led by Saina Nehwal arrived here Monday evening enroute to London for the Olympics beginning Friday.
The contingent comprising Saina, Ashwini Ponnappa, Jwala Gutta, Parupalli Kashyap and V. Diju will leave for London Tuesday morning under the supervision of chief coach Pullela Gopichand. The majority of India’s 81-member Olympic contingent has reached London.
“The reason we stayed back in India is that we prefer training amongst ourselves. We would do the same in London rather than sparring with players from other countries,” Ashwini, who will be representing India in the women’s doubles with Jwala, told IANS.
World No.5 Saina, one of India’s brightest medal hopes in London, starts her women’s singles campaign Saturday.
Kashyap, ranked 21, will be the sole representative in men’s singles after pipping Ajay Jayaram for the Olympic qualification.
A medal can be expected from Jwala and Ashwini, who made history by wining a bronze at the World Championships last year.
Jwala will also pair up with Diju for the mixed doubles event.