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We can win two medals at Rio Olympics: BAI Chief

New Delhi: Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Akhilesh Das Gupta yesterday said India will win at least two medals at the Olympic Games scheduled to be held at Rio de Janeiro in August.

Akhilesh Das Gupta
Akhilesh Das Gupta

"We are hopeful for 2016 Olympics. Last time we had only one medal. This time we will get at least two. I hope one of them will be a gold," Das Gupta told PTI.

"Saina and Sindhu are fit and I am hopeful they will give a good performance in both India Super Series and the Rio Olympics.

"K Srikanth and HS Prannoy are also in good form. I hope more players qualify for the Olympics. India Open is a bench mark tournament for the Olympics. We are confident."

While Saina, Sindhu and Srikanth are placed within the top 15 in the World and have all but sealed their Olympic spot, Prannoy has reignited his hopes of Rio Games after wining the Swiss Open last week.

Das Gupta also exuded confidence of a good show by Indians at the India Open, saying that defending champions Saina and Srikanth will be able to retain their respective titles at prestigious event starting next week.

"Our players are among the best in the world. It depends on who performs best on the final day. Injuries are always a concern. But I am hopeful that Saina and Srikanth will manage to retain their titles at India Open," Das Gupta said.

"There will be pressure as top players, including the Chinese, are coming. We have an advantage of playing in India and the competition is going to be neck to neck," he added.

Recovering from injury, Saina lost in the quarterfinals at the All England championship and then suffered defeat at the semifinals of Swiss Open last week. Srikanth too lost in the third round in German Open and crashed out in the second round at Birmingham.

The BAI chief is also optimistic about India's progress as more and more good players are coming up. He said that India has good coaches like Pullela Gopichand and more and more academies are coming.

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