Kanetkar: India can win medals in badminton in Rio

Former shuttler Nikhil Kanetkar today expressed confidence that India have bright chances to grab medals in badminton in the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games.

A file photo from 2004 shows Nikhil Kanetkar in action.   -  K. Gajendran

Former shuttler Nikhil Kanetkar today expressed confidence that India have bright chances to grab medals in badminton in the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games.

“India has good chance to win medals particularly in the women’s singles and from women’s pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnapa, who have won the bronze medal in the world championship,” said former India No.1 Kanetkar, who was here to coach 30 shuttlers from Jharkhand and West Bengal at Mohan Ahuja Indoor stadium.

“Saina (Nehwal) and Sindhu (P V) are performing well at the international arena and have very good chances to win medals for the country in singles event in the Olympics,” he said adding, in the men’s section, top rank players like K. Srikant were not consistent but, have chances to add up in the medal tally.

“Parupally Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram are other players in the men’s section from whom we can expect a good show. We can also expect medal in the women’s double as Jwala and Ashwini were doing very well,” Kanetkar said.

“As far as our preparation for the Olympics is concerned, coach Pullela Gopichand is doing an excellent job, but our players need to adopt to the conditions to remain in the contest,” he said.

Appreciating the East Singhbhum district Badminton Association for conducting the three-day coaching camp, Kanetkar said the camp would benefit budding shuttlers of the Eastern region, which has plenty of talent.

On reasons behind Eastern region lagging behind in producing international repute players, Kanetkar said the region needed a good academy with proper infrastructure to promote badminton.

Kanetkar added the academies needed support from respective governments, federations and others to achieve desirable results.