India’s top ranked badminton player and Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu believes she has a good draw going into the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
The Indian badminton stars would be hoping to clinch a medal for the third successive time after Saina Nehwal won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics with PV Sindhu bettering it at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with a silver.
PV Sindhu, the 2019 World Champion and B Sai Praneeth will begin their campaign at the 2020 Olympic Games against relatively lowly-ranked opponents in their respective singles group stages, as announced in the draw on Thursday.
However, doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are expected to face a stiff challenge in the group stages as they are placed in Group A alongside top-seed and World No. 1 Indonesian duo Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon.
PV Sindhu aware of stiff competition
In her second Olympic Games appearance, PV Sindhu is aware of the demands of the quadrennial event and feels every point will be crucial.
“It’s a good draw in the group stage. The Hong Kong girl plays well and it’ll be a good match. Everybody is going to be in top form, I hope I do well. Every match is important so I will take it match by match. This is the Olympics and it is not going to be easy, each point is very important,” PV Sindhu told the Badmintonn Association of India.
PV Sindhu has an all-win record against her group stage opponents Ngan Yi and Polikarpova in the five and two encounters played against them respectively. In men’s singles, World No. 15 Praneeth has been drawn into Group D alongside World No. 29 Mark Caljouw of Netherlands and World No. 47 Israeli shuttler Misha Zilberman.
“It’s a mixed draw, not so tough and not so good. I have to be 100 percent to win all matches and it will be a good match for me,” World Championships bronze medallist Praneeth said.
India’s doubles coach Mathias Boe is hopeful of getting good results.
Talking about the draw, Boe said:
“It’s a very even group which means even if you lose a match, you are still in the game because nobody knows what will happen. We’ll focus on preparing as much as possible in the last few weeks. We will attack on court and hopefully, we will get good results. I am positive, it’s a good challenge for us.”
PV Sindhu and Praneeth may square off against Japanese shuttlers world championship bronze medallist Akane Yamaguchi and World No. 1 and two-time world champion Kento Momota respectively in the quarter-final stage.