Sindhu, Saina have raised badminton's profile in India: Chirag Shetty

India’s ace men’s doubles shuttler Chirag Shetty believes Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu’s Olympic medals have raised the profile of badminton in the country.

Saina won the bronze medal in women’s singles in the 2012 London Olympics while Sindhu went a step higher by bagging the silver four years later in Rio Games. (File Picture)   -  FILE PHOTO/K.V.S. GIRI

India’s ace men’s doubles shuttler Chirag Shetty believes Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu’s Olympic medals have raised the profile of badminton in the country.

Saina won the bronze medal in women’s singles in the 2012 London Olympics while Sindhu went a step higher by bagging the silver four years later in Rio Games. “Badminton is currently the second most popular sport in the country after cricket, the meteoric rise of the sport is courtesy of the medals won by Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu at the Olympics,” said Shetty, who competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and won a gold in the mixed team event and silver in the men’s doubles.

READ| Lee Chong Wei is Malaysia's hero, says Olympian Chan Peng Soon

“They have been the biggest motivation which the sport in our country needed and now everyone who wants to take up badminton professionally believes that it is possible.”

Shetty also lauded the government for holding the Khelo India University Games. The first edition of the Khelo India Unversity Games is being organised by the Government of Odisha in association with the Sports Authority of India, Association of Indian Universities, National Sports Federation, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and participating universities.

READ| P.V. Sindhu: Olympic qualification is the focus now

The Games are slated to take place in Bhubaneswar from February 22 to March 1. “I think there are plenty of national-level prospects that can be tapped from the Khelo India University Games. If the deserved candidates can be helped with scholarships, nutrition and the right kind of guidance, we can create a strong pool of athletes who could eventually go on to represent India in the international circuit,” said the 22-year-old shuttler.

“I also feel it’s important for families to understand that sports can be a career for their kids and they need to be supported to make it big in their choice of sport.”

  Dugout videos