PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi speak on India’s chances at Sudirman Cup
What’s the story?
Indian shuttlers are optimistic about their chances at the upcoming Sudirman Cup but at the same time, they are wary that it will not be easy, especially after the draw they have been handed.
Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu told PTI, "I think we have a good chance, it's a mixed team event so girls and boys both have to perform well. We are playing Indonesia and Denmark, so I hope we can win.”
Kidambi Srikanth, on the other hand, was a little bit cautious in his answer. Speaking to PTI, he conceded, "I feel we have a really tough draw as we are up against Indonesia and Denmark. I think these are one of the strong teams. So it won't be easy but if it is our day then we can win.
"India is part of the top 8 teams and all these teams are very strong but I feel we need to prepare ourselves to play at that level and that is the only option, can't think about the matches and draw. We have to bring out the best we can," he added.
In case you didn’t know…
The Sudirman Cup, introduced back in 1989, is a team event held biennially. This year, it will be the 15th edition of the tournament and it will be held in Gold Coast, Australia. It is the first time since its inception that the tournament is being held outside Asia or Europe. In the previous edition of the championships, India had finished 9th. China are the most successful team in the history of the tournament.
The heart of the matter
In the preliminary round of the competition, team India (ranked 9th) are placed in Group 1 D alongside Denmark (ranked 2nd) and Indonesia (ranked 6th). It is as tough a draw as it can get. However, India does have some promising shuttlers who can pull off some upsets if they can perform to their potential.
The responsibility of handling the men’s singles will fall upon Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram and HS Prannoy while Sindhu will spearhead the women’s singles. India, however, will be without Olympic bronze medallist and former World Number 1, Saina Nehwal, who pulled out because of personal reasons.
The week-long tournament is scheduled to start on 21 May 2017 with India beginning their campaign on 22 May 2017. In their first match, team India will face the formidable Denmark team.
With the likes of Jan Ø. Jørgensen, Viktor Axelsen featuring for Denmark and the experienced Tommy Sugiarto for Indonesia, it is indeed a difficult draw. The Indian players will have to give their very best to progress to the later rounds and thereby, win a medal in the mixed team championship.Published 17 May 2017, 15:25 IST