National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand believes that all four players – PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and the doubles' duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty – have a solid chance of winning medals at the Tokyo Olympics.
India won six medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and Gopichand is of the opinion that the Indian contingent will surpass that mark in the upcoming Games.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the four badminton players who have qualified for Tokyo Olympics:
PV Sindhu – Women's Singles
PV Sindhu came very close to winning an individual Olympic gold medal for India in 2016 but was left heartbroken by Spain's Carolina Marin in the final in Rio. However, not resting on her laurels and contending with a silver, PV Sindhu has continued to make forward strides in the sport of badminton throughout her career.
She was the first Indian to become Badminton World Champion after winning a gold medal at the 2019 World Championships. Sindhu defeated Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in the final!
The 25-year-old also won the silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games. All eyes will be on PV Sindhu at the Tokyo Olympics!
B Sai Praneeth – Men's Singles
Sai Praneeth burst onto the scene at the 2013 Thailand Open Grand Prix after pulling off a sensational victory. He managed to defeat the 2003 All England Champion Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia. He also won against former World and Olympic Champion Taufik Hidayat in the first round of the Djarum Indonesia Open 2013, thus upsetting the home crowd.
He stunned Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei at 2016 All England Super Series Premier and won the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix in the men's singles category. Sai Praneeth also became the fourth Indian after Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi, and PV Sindhu to win the Singapore Open Series, doing so in 2017.
At the BWF World Championships in 2019, Sai Praneeth became the first Indian male shuttler to win a bronze medal after Prakash Padukone had done the same in 1983.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy – Men's Doubles
Having joined the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad in 2014, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy decided to become a doubles specialist. Along with K Manisha, he won 2015 Tata Open India International in 2015.
In 2016, he won gold in both the men's doubles as well as the mixed doubles category at the Mauritius International along with Chirag Shetty and K Manisha respectively. Further successes followed in the doubles category at Bangladesh International, Vietnam International, and Brazil International.
Satwiksairaj also won the gold in the mixed team event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a silver in the men's doubles event.
Chirag Shetty – Men's Doubles
23-year-old Chirag Shetty specializes in Men's Doubles and has a successful partnership with Satwiksairaj Renkireddy. Following wins in the 2016 Mauritius International, India International Series, Tata Open India International as well as the Bangladesh International, the duo of Shetty and Rankireddy started attracting the spotlight in the Indian badminton scene.
They further won the 2017 Vietnam International, 2018 Hyderabad Open, 2019 Brazil International and 2019 Thailand Open. The duo also finished runners-up in the 2018 Syed Modi International and the 2019 French Open.
The greatest moment of Shetty's career arrived at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast where he won a gold in the mixed team event and a silver in the men's doubles event.