India will field its biggest and strongest team at the World Championships in Indonesia, providing them the best chance of winning medals at the prestigious tournament starting next month.
It will be the first time that India will have two players within top 5 i.e. Saina Nehwal (World number 2), K Srikanth (World number 3) as they lead the Indian charge at the Championship which gets underway from August 10.
For the past few years the Indians had won medals at the Championships. Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponappa had ended 28 year old medal drought at the World Championships as both of them won bronze in womens doubles event in 2011. In 2013 and 2014 PV Sindhu won back to back medals winning bronze medal each time. Saina has not won a medal in the World championships as she has reached quarterfinals five times.
Saina got a bye and will start her campaign in the second round as she faces the winner Cheun Ngan Yi and Kati Tolmoff. If she wins the second round, is likely to face Sayaka Takashi in the prequarterfinals. If she crosses that hurdle too she is likely to face the Chinese Wang Yihan. PV Sindhu who has been struggling for form because of injury got a bye in the first round and will face the winner of Line Kjaersfeidlt and Chole Magee in the second round. A win in this round will put her against former World no 1 Li Xuerui.
In the men’s singles who has won two titles this year, the Swiss Open and Indian Open Super Series will face Micheal Fariman of Australia in the first round while P Kashyap the 10th seed ranked player will face off Erik Merjis of Netherlands. HS Prannoy who will be returning from injury will take Alex Yuwan of Brazil.
As far of men’s doubles is concerned Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy who reached the finals of US Open Grand Prix Gold last month will take on Chinese combo of Cai Yun and Lu Kai, Pranav Chopra and Akshay Dewlkar will take on Russian pair in the first round.
Ashwini Ponnappa/ Jwala Gutta who won the Canada Open last month got a bye in the first round and will face the winner of pair of Alex Bruce and Phyillis Chan and Chinese Taipei Hsieh Pei Chen and Wu Ti Jung in women’s doubles. In other women’s double P Gadree and N Sikki Reddy will take on German pair while the young pair of Dhyana Nair and Mohita Sahdev will take on French pair.
In the mixed doubles event Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan will take on Russian pair while Kona Tarun and Sikki Reddy will take on Liao Min Chun and Chen Hisao of Chinese Taipei.
There will no qualification round in the championships. Only top 50 players in the world are eligbale to participate. Lets hope that the Indian shuttler’s especially in singles can win a medal for the country.