All England Badminton Championships 2019: Indian players put up a dismal show
The prestigious All England Badminton Championships is presently underway at Birmingham from the 6th of March 2019.
The last time an Indian won this event was in 2001, when Pullela Gopichand managed to come out victorious and made the nation proud. In fact the legendary Prakash Padukone (1980) and P Gopichand are the only two Indian shuttlers who have managed to win this event.
The present era of Indian badminton players like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and K Srikanth have consistently produced medal-winning performances in all the major tournaments in badminton, like the Olympics, the World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and other Superseries events. It is because of their great achievements that India has now become one of the best badminton playing nations in the world.
But the All England Championships is an event where none of these great Indian players of the present era have come out victorious.
In this year's tournament, the badminton lovers of India expected that the 18-year-old wait for an All England title will finally end. As India went into the tournament with all its star players like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, K Srikanth and Sameer Verma in good form, the hopes were high.
How the Indians Fared in the Tournament:
On the very first day, India's biggest hope, PV Sindhu crashed out of the tournament in the very first round, after losing to Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea in 3 games (21-16, 20-22, 21-18). This was a real shock for all the Indian badminton fans.
In men's singles, Sameer Verma crashed out in a close 3-game match against former World Number 1 Viktor Alexsen of Denmark. HS Prannoy also lost in the first round against compatriot Sai Praneeth. India's participation in the doubles events also came to an end as all the pairs lost out on the very first day.
The only encouraging news for the Indian fans was that Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth advanced to the next round, alongside Sai Praneeth.
Sai Praneeth lost his second round match. However, both K Srikanth and Saina Nehwal won their matches and entered the quarter-finals.
In the quarters, both Saina and Srikanth were up against the world number ones of their respective disciplines.
Everybody knew that it would be difficult for them to pull off a victory against the world number ones. But as they were both in very good form in the tournament, Indian fans expected them to cause an upset.
However today, both Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth lost their respective quarter-final matches against Tai Tzu Ying and Kento Momota respectively. With their loss, India's campaign in this year's All England Championship came to an end.
The Indian shuttlers' performance in this year's tournament was nowhere close to what was expected of them. This year's performance left a lot to be desired with none of the players even reaching the semi-finals. Thus India's wait for an All England title continues for another year.