Indian shuttlers can win two medals in Rio Olympics: BAI chief

With the profile of Indian badminton surging in recent years, the governing body of the sport in the country, BAI, is hopeful of at least two medals in the Olympic Games later this year.

Sania Newhal bagged a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics but Badminton Association of India President Akhilesh Das Gupta, on Saturday, said a silver or a gold is not beyond the reach of Indian shuttlers.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

With the profile of Indian badminton surging in recent years, the governing body of the sport in the country, BAI, is hopeful of at least two medals in the Olympic Games later this year.

Top shuttler Sania Newhal bagged a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics but Badminton Association of India President Akhilesh Das Gupta, on Saturday, said a silver or a gold is not beyond the reach of Indian shuttlers.

“India can win at least two medals in Rio Olympics. Our shuttlers are capable of doing that. Even the colour of the medal can be better (than the bronze won by Saina in London),” Das Gupta said.

Das Gupta unveiled the trophies to be presented to the winners and runners-up of the Premier League Badminton 2016. Delhi Acers and Mumbai Rockets will lock horns in the summit clash here on Sunday.

“PBL will benefit the Indian shuttlers as they are playing top players from all over the world and this is the view of the leading players of the world,” he added.

Saina wasn’t fit

Das Gupta also said Saina wasn’t feeling fit and chose to skip the opening match of Awadhe Warriors

“Saina did not play in two matches as she was not fit. It is up to the player to decide whether they are fit, and to play or not,” Das Gupta said.

Saina did not play the opening match of the tournament on January 2 in Mumbai, citing injury. She played the two home matches for her team in Lucknow but did not take the court in both her team’s ties in Hyderabad.