Hidayat: Saina has a good chance in Rio

Hidayat thinks Indian badminton is moving along the right path.

Former World No. 1 Taufik Hidayat was in Kozhikode to inaugurate a showroom.   -  Special Arrangement

It has been 12 years since Taufik Hidayat won the men’s singles gold in badminton at the Athens Olympics, but the memories still bring a smile to his face.

"A medal at the Olympics is something you dream about, and for me winning the gold at Athens was the fulfilment of a dream,” the former World No. 1 from Indonesia told reporters here on Friday. “The Olympics comes only once in four years, so it is very special for any athlete. Imagine how the entire India would feel if Saina Nehwal were to win the gold at the Rio Olympics.”

He feels the Indian star’s chances for a medal at Rio de Janeiro are bright. “I think Saina could win a medal,” he said. “I feel the ladies singles competition is going to be a pretty well-contested affair.”

Hidayat, who was in the city to inaugurate a Yonex Sunrise showroom, is expecting tough contests in the men’s singles, too. “Now we have good players from several countries,” he said. “And I feel the doubles events too would be very competitive.”

He thinks Indian badminton is moving along the right path. “Till some time back there was only Saina, now there are more young players coming up,” Hidayat said. “Among the men, K. Srikanth looks good, though he has had some not-so-good results of late.”

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