Most international badminton events around the world have been canceled amid the Coronavirus outbreak. However, the prestigious All England Badminton Championships 2020 was held in Birmingham, England, as scheduled (from 11th to 15th March 2020).
Most of the top players across the globe took part in the event, with only a few, like Indian Sameer Verma, pulling out due to the COVID-19 scare.
A majority of Indian shuttlers, like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, K Srikanth, Sai Praneeth, and Lakshya Sen represented the country at the event. However, the torrid time that the Indian contingent has been having lately carried on here as well.
The Indian fans had hoped that the 2020 All England Championship would be the turning point for their star shuttlers and act as a morale booster ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Alas, it turned out otherwise.
How the Indians fared in the tournament:
Both Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth crashed out in the very first round. Nehwal lost to World number three Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in straight games 21-11, 21-8. She was totally outplayed in what turned out to be a largely one-sided match.
Srikanth, on the other hand, came up short against Olympic Champion Chen Long of China in straight games 21-15, 21-16.
With their first-round losses, the chances of two representing the country at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 reduced even further.
The top-ranked Indian men's singles player, Sai Praneeth, also suffered a defeat in the first round, against Zhao Junpeng of China by 21-12, 21-13.
The Indians had no luck in doubles as well and got defeated by higher-ranked opponents.
PV Sindhu was the lone Indian shuttler to show some spark. She regained some of her lost form and reached the quarterfinals of the event after winning her initial two matches against Beiwen Zhang of USA and Sung Ji-hyun of Korea (respectively).
In the quarters, she faced her arch-rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Sindhu got off to a brilliant start by winning the first set with ease. However, Okuhara made a brilliant comeback and took the next two sets, winning the match 12-21, 21-15, 21-13 and putting an end to Sindhu's (and India's) campaign this year.
The Indian shuttlers' performance in this year's tournament was nowhere close to what was expected of them. It left a lot to be desired, with none of the players even reaching the semi-finals, thus pushing further the country's wait for an All England title.
Also Checkout: The Badminton Schedule 2020