Asian Games: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu face tough task

Incheon: Once again the onus of winning medals will fall upon the young shoulders of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, who are India's best bets in badminton that gets underway at the Gyeyang Gymnasium on Saturday.

Saina Nehwal (left) and PV Sindhu
Saina Nehwal (left) and PV Sindhu 

India have sent a 13-member contingent — eight men and five women — to vie for medals in seven categories after doubles player Jwala Gutta pulled out.

Apart from the five regular categories — men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles, men's and women's team events will also feature at the quadrennial event.

The two team events will be based on the Thomas and Uber Cup formats which comprise three singles and two doubles competitions. Saina and Sindhu will lead Indian women — PC Thulasi, Tanvi Lad and Ashwini Ponnappa.

Chinese domination
Competition will be tough for Saina and Sindhu as, unlike in the Olympics, there will not be any limitation of the number of Chinese participants.

World No 1 and Olympic champion Li Xuerui, defending Asian Games champ Shixian Wang and former World Champion Yihan Wang will be top contenders for the medals.

To upset any of them and bring back a medal for India will a big achievement, especially for a country which has not seen a medal in the discipline since 1986 when the men's team clinched bronze.

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