The Asian Games 2023 are drawing closer, and Indian badminton enthusiasts will be waiting to see which big shuttlers bring home a medal this time around. Given that Asia is home to most of the world's best badminton players, all athletes who intend to grace the podium will have their work cut out for them.
On top of the list of Indian gold medal hopefuls is men's singles player HS Prannoy. The 31-year old Keralite has had a bumper year, claiming his first BWF World Tour title, winning a bronze at the BWF World Championships, and achieving a career high ranking of world number six.
Given his recent form, it's easy to see why one can expect Prannoy to finish on the top step of the podium at the Asian Games.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are the other big gold medal hopefuls for India at the Asian Games. The duo have ascended to a personal best ranking of two this year, alongside claiming their first BWF Super 1000 title at the Indonesia Open.
Rankireddy and Shetty have taken down big names the entire year, and it wouldn't be a surprise if they claim the men's doubles gold at the Asian Games.
Sen had a dismal start to the year with multiple first-round exits, but made up for it with a win at the Canada Open and semi-final finishes at the US and Japan Open. If Lakshya can hold on to his newfound form, fans can expect him to come back home with a medal.
On the other hand, Sindhu has yet to hit her stride this year. The Olympic medalist made a comeback to court in January after a few months away due to an injury, but winning ways have evaded her ever since.
However, it is a fact that Sindhu does have the skills necessary to challenge the best. If she can regain the mental stamina she showed to win the 2019 World Championships, she can definitely make an appearance on the podium.
Treesa Jolly and Gayathri Gopichand are the other doubles pair who have a chance to win a medal at the Asian Games. The duo have shown great consistency this year, and with a bit of luck and a slightly favorable draw, they hold the capacity to surprise.
Badminton Asian Games: how India will fare at the team events
Alongside the individual tournament, the Asian Games also have a men's and women's team event in badminton. India has previously finished with a handful of bronze medals in both categories.
Despite the fact that Asia is badminton's powerhouse, it wouldn't be a stretch for the Indian shuttlers to finish with a medal in the team events once again.
The men's team has especially bright chances to improve on their previous medal color. The team will feature many of the same players that won the 2022 Thomas Cup, one of the most revered competitions in badminton, and a repeat of that performance is likely to bring home India's first badminton Asian Games gold.
At the same time, the women's team is not to be underestimated. While they will face fierce competition from the likes of China, Japan, and South Korea, a few good performances from the newer members might translate to another Asiad medal for Indian badminton.