CWG Badminton: Aiming for an unprecedented haul

India’s anticipated medals tally in badminton at the upcoming Commonwealth Games could well beat the previous best of four in 1998, 2010, and 2014.

Clash of titans: Going by the standard of competition in the Commonwealth Games, P. V. Sindhu versus Saina Nehwal final looks a certainty.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

In badminton, India could well collect its best-ever medals haul from Gold Coast. With P. V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, K. Srikanth and H. S. Prannoy, and a couple of effective doubles combinations at this level, the anticipated medals tally could well beat the previous best of four in 1998, 2010 and 2014. However, India winning two gold medals, like in 2010, looks difficult.

At least three medals in singles — like in 2014 — one from the mixed team event and even one from the three doubles can help India reach an unprecedented medal count.

Considering the standard of competition, a Sindhu-Saina final cannot be ruled out. Last year’s gold medallist Li Michelle (Canada) and silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour (Scotland) appear the only threats to the Indians.

Srikanth and Prannoy are also capable of making it to the medal rounds. Barring the legendary Lee Chong Wei, the two Indians should start favourites in their matches.

In the mixed team event, three-time champion Malaysia will be tough to beat considering the lack of quality in India’s doubles pairs.

The form of Srikanth is a worry. Since last November, he has not shown the consistency that fetched him four major titles last year. Prannoy is also back from a medical layoff and provided a glimpse of his form in the recent All England championship. Ashwini Ponnappa could well become the first Indian to win three successive doubles medals from the Games, having accompanied G. Jwala to the podium for the gold in 2010 and silver in 2014.

                            Total medals - 19 (5 gold, 4 silver, 10 bronze)

1966 Kingston: 1 bronze (men’s singles – Dinesh Khanna).

1978 Edmonton: 1 gold (men’s singles – Prakash Padukone) and 1 bronze (women’s doubles – Ami Ghia & Kanwal Thakur Singh).

1982 Brisbane: 1 gold (men’s singles – Syed Modi).

1998 Kuala Lumpur: 2 silver (women’s singles – Aparna Popat, men’s team) and 2 bronze (men’s singles – P. Gopi Chand, women’s team).

2002 Manchester: 1 bronze (women’s singles – Aparna Popat).

2006 Melbourne: 2 bronze (men’s singles – Chetan Anand, mixed team).

2010 Delhi: 2 gold (women’s singles –Saina Nehwal, women’s doubles – G. Jwala & Ashwini Ponnappa), 1 silver (mixed team) and 1 bronze (men’s singles – P. Kashyap).

2014 Glasgow: 1 gold (men’s singles – P. Kashyap), 1 silver (women’s doubles – G. Jwala & Ashwini Ponnappa) and 2 bronze (men’s singles – R.M.V. Gurusaidutt, women’s singles – P.V. Sindhu).