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Indian shuttlers have so far claimed 26 titles in 2017

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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667   //    31 Jul 2017, 22:29 IST


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2017 has been a year of renaissance for Indian badminton. With strong focus on fitness and by inviting foreign coaches, the sport has taken a giant leap.

The results are for all to see. Indian shuttlers have so far claimed as many as 26 international titles this year and the season is not even close to getting over yet.

The country is not dependent on just the two golden girls - Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu - anymore. The men have emerged from their shadows and have made their own mark.

Srikanth Kidambi, B Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and Parupalli Kashyap have ensured that badminton remains in the spotlight almost every week. Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo’s expertise has rubbed off well on the boys.

They can now play back-to-back tournaments, winning them all and can last the distance in gruelling contests. That has obviously made a huge difference this year.

And not just singles, there has been an overhaul in every department. Malaysian Tan Kim Her’s appointment in December, 2015 has begun to bear fruit. The doubles players look surer of themselves on the court and there is a certain assertiveness in the shot selection. The revival has brought home a Grand Prix Gold title and has made the doubles section look sharper than ever.

If nothing else, India’s 4-1 win over former champions Indonesia at the Sudirman Cup, which paved the way for a quarter-final appearance, would be enough evidence for this. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, all of 16, has been a great find. The youngster is being moulded into a world beater already and has the potential to rule the circuit in the future.

India now looks a potent world force in this sport with the scope of further rapid improvement over the next few years and has already surpassed the record for the number of titles won by India in a calendar year.

Here’s the complete list of India’s 26 international titles this year

Superseries Premier

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Srikanth Kidambi - Indonesia Open (Men’s singles)

Superseries

Srikanth Kidambi - Australia Open (Men’s singles)

B Sai Praneeth - Singapore Open (Men’s singles)

PV Sindhu - India Open (Women’s singles)

Grand Prix Gold

B Sai Praneeth - Thailand Open (Men’s singles)

Sameer Verma - Syed Modi International (Men’s singles)

HS Prannoy - US Open (Men’s singles)

PV Sindhu - Syed Modi International (Women’s singles)

Saina Nehwal - Malaysia Masters (Women’s singles)

Pranaav Jerry Chopra/N Sikki Reddy - Syed Modi International (Mixed doubles)

International Challenge

Rahul Yadav Chittaboina - Lagos International (Men's singles)

Manu Attri/ B Sumeeth Reddy - Lagos International (Men’s doubles)

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty - Vietnam International (Men’s doubles)

Tarun Kona/Alwin Francis - Peru International Challenge (Men’s doubles)

Arjun MR/Shlok Ramchandran - Iran International Challenge (Men’s doubles)

International Series

Anand Pawar - Dutch International (Men’s singles)

Subhankar Dey - Iceland International (Men’s singles)

Subhankar Dey - Portuguese International (Men’s singles)

Shikha Gautam - Mauritius International (Women’s singles)

Prajakta Sawant (India)/Yogendran Krishnan (Malaysia) - Mauritius International (Mixed doubles)

Tarun Kona/Alwin Francis - Uganda International (Men’s doubles)

Jagadish Yadav/Venkatesh Prasad - Jamaica International (Men’s doubles)

Future Series

Karan Rajan Rajarajan - Guatemala Future Series (Men’s singles)

Ritika Thaker - Ivory Coast Future Series (Women’s singles)

Ritika Thaker/Simran Singhi - Ivory Coast Future Series (Women’s doubles)

Sahil Sipani - Benin Future Series (Men’s singles)

(Updated till the end of the Lagos International Challenge, dated July 29, 2017)

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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