SPORT

Decent draws for Indian shuttlers

Paisan Rangsikitpho (BWF Deputy President), Mike Fennell (President, CGF), Suresh Kalmadi (Chairman, CCOG), M.S. Gill (Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports), Sindhushree Khullar (Secy. of Sports, Govt of India) and V. K. Verma (President, BAI) at the draw ceremony on Tuesday.

Paisan Rangsikitpho (BWF Deputy President), Mike Fennell (President, CGF), Suresh Kalmadi (Chairman, CCOG), M.S. Gill (Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports), Sindhushree Khullar (Secy. of Sports, Govt of India) and V. K. Verma (President, BAI) at the draw ceremony on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

Sports Reporter

NEW DELHI: Indian shuttlers got decent draws for the World badminton championships in Hyderabad with star player Saina Nehwal facing the possibility of running into second seed Lin Wang of China in the quarterfinals.

As per the draw released here on Tuesday, sixth-seeded Saina earned a bye in the first round and will meet an unseeded opponent in the second round. She is likely to meet 10th seed P. Nedelcheva of Bulgaria in the pre-quarterfinals.

Analysing Saina’s prospect, National coach P. Gopi Chand said the 19-year-old should at least make the last four.

“It’s a good draw. Since the field is tough, semifinals should be a good target to have,” Gopi Chand said.

Former All England champion Prakash Padukone said that Saina would bank on the advantage of playing in front of the home crowd.

“Saina is in good form and will be playing before the home crowd. Winning a Super Series event is the right way to get into a World Championships,” Padukone added.

Aditi Mutatkar is set to meet 11th seed German J. Schenk while Sayale Gokhale meets unseeded Jie Yao of the Netherlands and has the prospect of challenging 13th-seeded Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong.

Chetan Anand, seeded No. 15, is the best Indian bet in men’s singles competition. He will have to get past two unseeded players before he faces a seeded shuttler. In the first round, his rival will be Korean Ji Hoon Hong.

P. Kashyap will play against Iranian Ali Shahhosseini in the opening round. He could run into second-seeded Jin Chen next.

Bhat meets Hsieh

Arvind Bhat clashes with ninth seed Y. Hsieh of Chinese Taipei in the first round.

India holds a good prospect in the mixed doubles as well. The eighth-seeded pair of V. Diju and Jwala Gutta has been awarded a first round bye and will meet the unseeded English pair of Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork in the next round.

“On their day, Jwala and Diju are good enough to beat any top pair. So we have a good chance there,” Gopi Chand said.

Men’s top seed C. Lee of Malaysia will meet Dieter Domke of Germany.

Women’s top seed Mi Zhou of Hong Kong will take on the winner of N. Brosolat Jensen and M.C. Ky in the second round after enjoying a first round bye.

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