The much-awaited Tokyo Olympics is finally happening – from July 23. With less than 50 days remaining for the mega sporting event, people across the world are gearing up to cheer for their favorite athletes. With less than 50 days remaining for the mega sporting event, people across the world are gearing up to cheer for their favorite athletes.
We take a look at the sport of badminton and list down our favorites for the women’s singles title at the Games.
PV Sindhu, the poster girl of Indian badminton, is scheduled to participate in the event. And the Indian sports lovers will be keenly following her progress for a possible finish at the top of the podium.
History of Women's Badminton Event in the Olympics
Women's badminton was first introduced as an Olympic sport at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Traditionally, China has been the most dominant nation in the category, winning four of the seven singles gold medals so far. They won four consecutive gold from 2000 to 2012. Spain's Carolina Marin picked up the title in 2016, breaking the Chinese domination.
Players from countries like Thailand, Japan, India, Korea, Spain and Chinese Taipei have been coming through the ranks of late and the Tokyo Olympics will certainly be entertaining to watch for all badminton fans.
The women's singles field is currently highly competitive. The top bracket of shuttlers are all very closely matched. It is difficult to predict a winner as anybody can emerge the victor on any given day.
Defending champion Carolina Marin has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics with an injury. This guarantees a new winner for the event. Based on current form and past records in big tournaments, we examine the probable favorites.
#1 World Number 1: Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei)
Tai Tzu-ying is one of the greatest women's singles players of all time and will definitely be the favorite for gold this year. She has dominated opponents with her mesmerizing style of play and won almost all the major tournaments. She is the current All England champion and an Olympic title is the only major silverware missing from her trophy cabinet.
Expect Tai to be at her very best to stake her claim to the Olympic crown.
#2: World Number 2: Chen Yufei (China)
This young Chinese shuttler has been the most improved women's player over the last three years. She was the runner-up at the All England Championships in 2020 and has won multiple BWF Super Series events in the last couple of years. She is currently ranked number two in the world.
Chen is the biggest hope for Chinese fans in women's singles and they are hoping that she will win the 5th Olympic gold for China in the event
#3. Japanese duo: Nozomi Okuhara (World No. 3) and Akane Yamaguchi (World
The two Japanese badminton stars, Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguchi, go into the event as strong contenders for the title. They have won most of the major badminton events between themselves. Their hitlist includes the World Championships, the All England Championships and Super Series events.
However, the Olympic crown is missing from their kitty and they will be hoping to give Japan their first gold in the event in front of their home crowd.
#4. Thai star: Ratchanok Intanon (World No. 6)
Ratchanok Intanon will be one of the most experienced players in this year's Olympics. She is a former world champion and Asian champion and is one of the most consistent players on the circuit. With her vast experience, she will be a force to be reckoned with.
#5. India’s poster girl: PV Sindhu (World No.7)
PV Sindhu is a player for the big occasion, as evidenced by her multiple medals in the world championships. She also has an Olympic silver, won at the 2016 Rio Games.
In Rio, she came very close to winning gold but could not cross the final hurdle as she fell to Carolina Marin. This time, in the absence of the Spanish champion, Sindhu will definitely fancy her chances
It will, however, prove to be a challenge given her recent slump in form. However, being the big-match player that she is, it would be a mistake to write Sindhu off.