India will begin its quest to find its second world champion as Tokyo is set to host 2022 Badminton world championship, starting 22 August. However, India’s only world champion- PV Sindhu will miss out on action as she suffered a stress fracture at the Commonwealth games 2022 and is still recovering and in her absence, Lakshya Sen will be India’s best bet.
India’s very first world championship medal came way back in 1983 when Prakash Padukone won a bronze medal. After a long wait, women’s doubles pairing of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa won a bronze in 2011 edition. PV Sindhu played out of her skin and bagged a bronze in 2013 and 2014 editions respectively and became the first women’s singles player from India to do so before Saina Nehwal, the poster girl of Indian badminton at that time. Sindhu went on to win two consecutive silver medal at 2017 and 2018 edition before going on to defeat Nozomi Okuhara in the 2019 edition to clinch the title. Saina Nehwal won a silver medal in the 2015 edition and followed it up with a bronze in 2017 edition as well.
Sai Praneeth played the best badminton of his life and was awarded with a bronze in the 2019 edition. 2021 world championship paved way for Indian men’s singles shuttler as Kidambi Srikanth bagged a historic silver medal and Lakshya Sen won a bronze, becoming the youngest Indian medalist to win a world championship medal.
Sai Praneeth will start his campaign against Chou Tien Chen, the fourth seed from Chinese Taipei. Kidambi Srikanth will be up against Nhat Nguyen of Ireland in round 1 and may be up against Lee Zii Jia, the fifth seed from Malaysia in the pre quarter finals or round 3. Lakshya Sen will start his campaign against the veteran Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in round 1 and be up against Kento Momota or HS Prannoy in round 3. Prannoy will start his campaign against Luka Wraber of Austria.
Malvika Bansod will take up the challenge in women’s singles and will be up against Line Christophersen of Denmark in round 1. Saina Nehwal will be up against Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong and waiting for her if she crosses the first round will be sixth seed from Japan- Nozomi Okuhara.
In men’s doubles, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy will be up against Hiroki Okamura and Masayuki Onodera of Japan. MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will be up against Thai pairing of Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren. Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan will be up against the French pairing of Fabien Delrue and William Villeger. Seventh seed and Commonwealth games champion- Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will get a bye in the first round match and road till semi-finals look easy for them if they don’t face an upset.
In women’s doubles, promising pair of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly will be up against Valeree Siow and Low Yeen Yuan of Malaysia in their first round clash and they may be up against the 10th seed and recently crowned Commonwealth games champion- Thinaah Muralitharan and Pearly Tan, who raced superior against the Indians for two times at Birmingham games. Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponappa will start their campaign against Aminath and Fathimath Razzaq of Maldives and if they win their first round clash they will be up against top seed from China. Sanjana Santosh and Pooja Dandu are the third pair for India in women’s doubles followed by Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam being the fourth pair.
After the retirement of Pranaav Chopra, India has been on a quest to find their top mixed doubles pairing and it may be answered by the promising pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto who will be up against Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann of Germany. Other Indian pairing in the fray will be of Juhi Dewangan and Venkat Gaurav Prasad.
Indian viewers can stream the action live on Voot mobile application and official website from 22 August. Sports18 will broadcast the action live on TV, check your local cable operators if you don’t yet have the channel.