World Championships: No PV Sindhu; Lakshya Sen to lead chargeAugust 22, 2022
With the injured PV Sindhu missing out for the first time in a decade, the onus will be on young Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy to spearhead India’s challenge in the BWF World Championships, starting here tomorrow.
With five medals, including a gold in 2019, Sindhu is a colossal figure in the BWF’s most prestigious and competitive tournament, but an ankle injury en route to a maiden Commonwealth Games title triumph dashed her hopes of travelling to the Japanese capital.
This left the task of continuing India’s impressive run in the tournament on the young shoulders of Sen, and the experienced duo of Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth. The country has not returned empty-handed from the event since the 2011 edition.
It was Srikanth and Sen who had ensured India’s presence on the podium in 2021 when they finished with a silver and a bronze, respectively, but the field this time will be much stronger than last year.
It was a depleted field in 2021 with Japan’s Kento Momota and the Indonesian duo of Jonatan Christie and Anthony Ginting missing out. But there has been no such withdrawal this time.
At the same time, the expectations from the Indian male shuttlers will be high, given their exploits in recent months. To the dismay of the Indian fans, Sen, Srikanth and Prannoy have been clubbed in the same quarter.
All eyes will also be on Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who claimed India’s first gold medal in the men’s doubles event at the CWG.
The world No. 7 duo, which won the India Open title in January and was an important cog in India’s Thomas Cup triumph, has received a first-round bye.
Out of spotlight
Away from all the limelight will be a certain Saina Nehwal, who was once the cynosure of all eyes. The decorated shuttler has a silver and a bronze from the World Championships. However, she has looked a pale shadow of herself, following a series of below-par performances due to both injuries and lack of form.
Among others, the pairings of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, and Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly will be in the fray in the women’s doubles.