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Indian badminton all set for an action-packed 2018 season

ANALYST
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814   //    18 Dec 2017, 20:58 IST

saina nehwal pv sindhu srikanth kidambi
The trio of Srikanth, Sindhu and Nehwal will get a lot of opportunities to bring laurels for India

It's a promising 2018 season ahead for Indian badminton, where the shuttlers will aim to capitalize on their new found success in 2017 for further glory. A tight schedule, comprising important tournaments such as the All England Championships, Commonwealth Games, Asian Championships, Uber Cup, Asian Games, and the much touted World Championships, gives more than ample opportunities to players like Kidambi Srikanth, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu and Saina Nehwal to not only make their mark, but also create newer moments of history. The upcoming season, with its packed schedule, will also present a chance to both PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal to do what no Indian shuttler has ever achieved -- becoming a world champion.

A look at the 2018 schedule

The first significant tournament for the Indians will be in February, when they will hone their shuttling skills at the Asian Team Badminton Championships, to be held in Malaysia from 6th to 11th February. The first individual acid test for the Indian shuttlers will be the All England Championships, to be conducted from 14th to 18th March, where Srikanth, Sindhu and Saina will vie for the ultimate glory that has eluded India since 2001, when their coach, Pullela Gopichand had won the tournament.

This is also a golden opportunity for PV Sindhu, who is suffering from a curious final phobia, and had to settle for the silver medal at the Rio Olympics, Glasgow World Championships, and Dubai World Super Series Finals, despite having secured an early lead, against seemingly weaker opponents.

The All England Championships also serves as a significant warmup for the upcoming Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, where Srikanth and Sindhu will aim to follow in the footsteps of Parupalli Kashyap and Saina Nehwal, who had won the badminton gold in their respective categories in 2014 and 2010 respectively.

Moving on further, the Indian shuttlers will face newer challenges in the Asian Badminton Championships, to be held from 24th to 29th April in Wuhan, China. India, who is yet to make a mark in this tournament, hopes to change the sorry state this time. The Championships will also serve as a warmup for the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup, scheduled to be held from 20th to 27th May at Bangkok, Thailand.

PV Sindhu, who is grappling with a final phobia, will get a chance to redeem herself at the BWF World Championships, to be hosted by Nanjing from 30th July to 5th of August. Nothing can be better than this for the Indian shuttlers, who will be thoroughly rejuvenated with this tournament and be ready for their next challenge, which would be the 18th Asian Games, to be held at Jakarta, from 18th of August to 2nd of September.

This is also a golden opportunity for shuttlers like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal & Co. to change the color of their medal they won in 2014, and better the record individually set by Syed Modi in 1982, by getting at least a silver medal this time.

The juniors will make a tryst with glory at the Youth Olympics to be held in Buenos Aires from 6th October, provided any Indian shuttler makes the cut, and will aim to change the color of the medal that HS Prannoy won in 2010. The year will end for our junior shuttlers with the World Junior Championships, which is to be conducted from 12th to 18th November in Canada.

We wish best of luck to the Indian badminton team, and hope that they achieve higher standards and more medals than ever before.

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ANALYST
A sporting freak, loves everything except Cricket. Hockey is my first love!
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