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PV Sindhu’s chance to bag elusive crown

The Olympic silver medallist will start her campaign with a clash against Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah and is likely to face Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the quarters
PV Sindhu

PTI   |   Birmingham   |   Published 17.03.21, 12:50 AM

World champion P.V. Sindhu will look to shrug off her demoralising Swiss Open final defeat and take advantage of a depleted field when she spearheads India’s challenge at the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships, beginning here on Wednesday.

Sindhu looked a pale shadow of herself in her defeat to Carolina Marin, going down without much fight as she struggled to contain errors. Carolina, the three-time world champion from Spain, though has pulled out of the prestigious tournament due to an injury, taking some shine off the event. Also missing in action will be the Chinese, Korean and Chinese Taipei shuttlers, who decided not to compete in the Super 1000 event as the tournament will have no bearing on Tokyo Olympic qualification.


It affects the quality of the competition but also provides the 19-member Indian contingent an opportunity to go deep in the draw and recapture the trophy which has been won by just two Indians so far — Prakash Padukone (1980) and P. Gopichand (2001).

Among other Indians, former No.1 Kidambi Srikanth and men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who are currently ranked 10 in the world and had a good run at the Swiss Open, will look to put their best foot forward.

Sindhu, seeded fifth, will start her campaign with a clash against Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah and is likely to face Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the quarter finals. London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal has drawn in-form seventh seed Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark in her first round and might meet Scotland’s Kristy Gilmour next.

In men’s singles, Srikanth will open against Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia, while B. Sai Praneeth will take on France’s Toma Junior Popov. 

Parupalli Kashyap will open against world No. 1 Japanese Kento Momota, who is returning to the international circuit after a horrific car accident last year.    

Covid chaos

New Delhi: Three Indian shuttlers have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the All-England Championship while a few are awaiting confirmation on their inconclusive samples. A member of the support staff has also tested positive. 

“I find it completely absurd how this can happen, since we have been isolated in Zurich since the Swiss Open started two weeks ago,” India’s Danish coach Mathais Boe was quoted as saying by “We have been tested five times in 14 days and all tests have been negative. ” 

The names of the players could not be confirmed.    

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