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Asian Games

India Badminton squad at Asian Games: Full team, Schedule, Medal chances

Can Indian badminton players, led by HS Prannoy and PV Sindhu, return home with their best-ever show from the Hangzhou Asian Games?

India Badminton squad at Asian Games: Full team, Schedule, Medal chances
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PV Sindhu poses with her women's singles silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018.

By

Sudipta Biswas

Updated: 26 Sep 2023 4:23 AM GMT

India has never been the champion of Asian Games badminton. Nor badminton has been among India's best medal-winning sports. Since badminton's inclusion in the 1962 Asian Games, India has yet to win a gold medal.

The best medal an Indian shuttler won is silver by PV Sindhu in the 2018 Jarkarta Asian Games.

Even though badminton has been among India's most successful sports, that success is hardly reflected in the Asian Games. Sindhu's silver along with Saina Nehwal's bronze medal in 2018 remained India's best-ever show at the Asiad. Previously in the 1982 Delhi Asiad, India won five medals, but all bronze.

In the Jakarta Asiad, India's hopes of winning a medal in team events went up in smoke after both the men’s and women’s sides suffered identical losses in the quarterfinals to Japan and Indonesia. Sindhu and HS Prannoy shone brightly individually, but others failed to make any impact.

This time around for the Hangzhou Asian Games, India sent a 20-member squad.

Indian Squad:

Men’s singles: HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth (individual/team), Lakshya Sen and Mithun Manjunath (team)

Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and Dhruv Kapila-MR Arjun (individual/team)

Women’s singles: PV Sindhu and Ashmita Chaliha (individual/team), Anupama Upadhyaya and Malvika Bansod (team)

Women’s doubles: Gayatri Gopichand-Treesa Jolly and Ashwini Ponnappa-Tanisha Crasto (individual/team)

Mixed doubles: Rohan Kapoor-N Sikki Reddy and Sai Pratheek K-Tanisha Crasto

Schedule:

Asian Games badminton events will take place between September 28 and October 7 at Binjiang Gymnasium, Hangzhou.

September 28: Elimination Round - Women's and Men's team events (Session BDM01, Time 6:30 AM-11:30 AM)

Men's team event (Session BDM02, Time 3:30 PM-7:30 PM)

September 29: Quarterfinal - Women's and Men's team events ((Session BDM03, Time 6:30 AM-11:30 AM and Session BDM04, Time 3:30 PM-7:30 PM)

September 30: Semifinal- Women's and Men's team events (Session BDM05, Time 6:30 AM-11:30 AM, and Session BDM06, Time 3:30 PM-7:30 PM)

October 1: Final and Victory Ceremony - Women's and men's team events (Session BDM07, Time 6:30 AM-11:30 AM, and Session BDM08, Time 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM)

October 2: 1st round - Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Mixed Doubles (Session BDM09, Time 7:30 AM-3:30 PM)

October 3: 2nd round - Men's Singles Women's Singles (Session BDM10, Time 7:30 AM-3:30 PM)

1st Round - Women's Doubles (Session BDM10, Time 7:30 AM-3:30 PM)

October 4: 3rd Round - Men's Singles, Women's Singles (Session BDM11, Time 7:30 AM-3:30 PM)

2nd Round - Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles (Session BDM11, Time 7:30 AM-3:30 PM)

October 5: Quarterfinal - Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles (Session BDM12, Time 6:30 AM-12:30 PM)

Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles (Session BDM13, Time 2:30 PM-7:30 PM)

October 6: Semifinal - Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles (Session BDM14, Time 6:30 AM-12:30 PM)

Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles (Session BDM15, Time 2:30 PM-7:30 PM)

October 7: Final and Victory Ceremony - Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles (Session BDM16, Time 11:30 AM-5:30 PM)

Note: All timings are in Indian Standard Time. The competition schedule is subject to change by the competition procedures and broadcasting circumstances. All matches will take place according to the local timing.

Medal Chances

Men's singles | Predicted Finish: Bronze medal

Prannoy, unquestionably, will be the best-placed Indian singles player to win a medal at the 19th Asian Games. At the BWF World Championships, he defeated Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen, who is also the most consistent player in the last two years, for the third time. Prannoy also beat Singapore's former world champion Loh Kean Yew en route to his bronze medal-winning performance.

Considering Prannoy's form, fitness, and ability to surprise opponents with a late comeback at any stage of the match will keep him in contention for a medal. Prannoy, who rose to a career-best ranking of six recently, is ranked fifth in Asia. He won the Malaysia Masters and also had a runner-up finish at the Australian Open in 2023. But Prannoy's 0-2 and 1-4 head-to-head records against Kulnavut Vitidsarn and Kodai Naraoka do not bode well for him.

Considering all parameters, Prannoy will be best placed to win a bronze medal.

Women's singles | Predicted Finish: Quarterfinal

However, India cannot expect the same in women's singles. India's only source of hope, Asian no. 11 PV Sindhu, has been going through a torrid time. This year, Sindhu made seven first-round exits. At the World Championships, she lost in the second round after getting a bye in the first. Moreover, the field has some of the world's best players, such as world champion An Se Young, Olympic gold medallist Chen Yufei, world no. 2 Akane Yamaguchi, and world no. 4 Tai Tzu Ying. Hence, Sindhu is unlikely to be in contention for a medal in women's singles.

Men's doubles | Predicted Finish: Silver medal

India, however, will rely heavily on Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty for a medal in men's doubles. This year, Satwik-Chirag won four titles - Swiss Open, Badminton Asia Championships, Indonesia Open and Korea Open. In all these tournaments, they have crossed the path of all top Asian pairings multiple times and got their best, too. Hence, if the Asian no. 1 Satwik-Chirag does not return home with a silver medal, that will be the biggest upset for India.

Men's team | Predicted Finish: Bronze medal

India last won a men's team medal in the 1986 Asian Games. In Hangzhou, the Indian men's team will hope to return home with a medal, given the strength of the squad.

The men's team is comprised of Prannoy, who is fresh from his medal-winning performance at the World Championships, Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen, and Mithun Manjunath.

As confidence soared after India's historic Thomas Cup victory in 2022, the men's team, with nearly the same team, could pull off surprises. While Srikanth, who earned a place in the squad by winning the selection trials, has been going through a lean patch, the fiery form of Prannoy, Lakshya's yearning to get his mojo back, and Manjunath's giant-killing act could be handy for India. Satwik and Chirag, who played a vital role in the Thomas Cup victory, will look to make the Games memorable, adding another medal to their trophy cabinet.

However, considering the men's team's Asia ranking of five, a bronze medal is expected from them.

Women's team | Predicted Finish: Round of 16

However, the same cannot be said about the women's team. Sindhu's poor form and her teammates' not-so-credible record at the international level are unlikely to help India's cause in the women's team event.

Ashmita Chaliha, Anupama Upadhyaya, and Malvika Bansod have yet to prove themselves at the highest level. While Malvika and Ashmita are ranked 44th and 47th respectively, 18-year-old Anupama is ranked 82nd in the world rankings.

On the other hand, the women's doubles pairing of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand's search for form continues. Hence, a medal chance for the women's team looks slim. However, experienced Ashwini Ponnappa and her young partner Tanisha Crasto could be a surprise package. Ashwini was part of India's bronze medal-winning women's team in the 2014 Asian Games. We can expect the women's team to make it to the Round of 16.

Women's doubles | Predicted Finish: Bronze medal

Considering the dominance of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese pairings in women's doubles, needless to say, it will be tough for young Treesa and Gayatri to make their presence felt in women's doubles. At the Worlds, Treesa-Gayatri was no match for eventual champions Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China. The Indians lost in straight games. Yet, considering Treesa and Gayatri's ability to pull off surprises, we can hope for a bronze medal from the Indian duo.

Mixed doubles: Round of 16

Similarly, in mixed doubles, given Indians' poor track record, the pairings of Rohan Kapoor-N Sikki Reddy and K Sai Pratheek-Tanisha Crasto are unlikely to make India any richer in the medal count. They can qualify for the Round of 16.

India badminton at the 2018 Asian Games

India won two medals at the Asian Games badminton. PV Sindhu won silver while Saina Nehwal won a bronze medal.

India at the Asian Games: Badminton records

Previous medallists:

1974 Asiad

Men's team bronze

Davinder Ahuja, Partho Ganguli, Raman Ghosh, Dinesh Khanna and Prakash Padukone

1982 Asiad

Five bronze medals

Syed Modi (men's singles), Leroy D'Sa-Pradeep Gandhe (men's doubles), and Leroy D'Sa-Kanwal Thakar Singh (mixed doubles)

Men's team bronze

Leroy D'Sa, Pradeep Gandhe, Partho Ganguli, Syed Modi, Uday Pawar and Vikram Singh

Women's team bronze

Vandana Chiplunkar, Ami Ghia, Madhumita Goswami, Amita Kulkarni, Hufrish Nariman and Kanwal Thakar Singh

1986 Asiad

Men's team bronze

Leroy D'Sa, U. Vimal Kumar, Ravi Kunte, Sanat Misra, Syed Modi, Prakash Padukone and Uday Pawar

2014 Asiad

Women's team bronze

Pradnya Gadre, Tanvi Lad, Saina Nehwal, Ashwini Ponnappa, N. Sikki Reddy, P. V. Sindhu and P. C. Thulasi

2018 Asiad

Women's singles

PV Sindhu (silver), Saina Nehwal (bronze)

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