Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The senior National badminton championship, which gets underway at Indore on Tuesday, has lost a good deal of lustre with the withdrawal of Chetan Anand and Saina Nehwal and that has made the event all the more open according to former National coach, U. Vimal Kumar.

Vimal, in a chat with The Hindu here, said: “The championship is wide open and I put our wards Anup Sridhar and Arvind Bhat as the frontrunners.

“They along with Chetan Anand are the best players in the country and it should be keen to watch them fight for the honours. Youngsters like Guru Sai Dutt, P. Kashyap and Anand Pawar are good enough to cause some surprises.”

Vimal termed the chances of another Tata Padukone Badminton Academy player, Trupti Murgunde as “bright”.

“Among all the women players, Trupti has more experience and is in good form. There are others like Ashwini Ponnappa, Neha Pandit and Sikki Reddy who are talented but Trupti should have the edge,” he added.

Lack of tournaments

Vimal pointed out that the lack of domestic tournaments has robbed the players of actual match practice.

“So many tournaments were scrapped leaving the players with only the Nationals as the main event.

“But it is the premier tournament of the country and I am sure all the players will go all out bearing that in mind,” said the former National champion.

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