Asian Games, Badminton draw: Kunlavut challenge for Prannoy in podium quest, Bingjiao potentially for Sindhu in quarters

After the men’s team historic silver in badminton, action shifts to individual events at the 19th Asian Games that start on Monday. India’s entries for the events are:

Women’s singles: PV Sindhu, Ashmita Chaliha

Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun

Women’s doubles: Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly, Ashwini Ponnappa /Tanisha Crasto

Mixed doubles: Rohan Kapoor /N Sikki Reddy, Sai Pratheek K/Tanisha Crasto

Here’s a quick look at how the draws have panned out for the Indian contingent.

Freedom Sale

* 2018 silver medallist PV Sindhu is seeded 7th, starts against Wen Chi Hsu, young Taiwanese. Amongst all quarterfinalists, Sindhu wouldn’t mind the sight of He Bingjiao to fend off for a medal, given Bingjiao can be put under pressure at home. But Sindhu’s own form is indifferent.

Not a bad draw for the podium, although An Se Young awaits potentially in semis. Repeat of a final is perhaps too far, but bronze can be envisioned.

* Satwik-Chirag are 2nd seeds. They start against Liu-Chow of Hong Kong. They have Indonesian Carnando-Marthin next potentially, in what is their trickiest test towards podium. Seo-Kang (world champions) or Aaron-Soh (with fitness concerns) in the semifinal. Medal more gettable in this half of the draw with the likes of Olympic champs Wang / Lee and former world champs Hoki / Kobayashi unseeded and drawn in other quarters.

* HS Prannoy (5th seed) has Mongolian Batdavaa Munkhbat to start. Potentially world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn in quarters to reach the medal. Tough one this for the Indian, who is evidently nursing a back injury.

* Kidambi Srikanth gets Le Duc Phat in opener. Second round possibly against Lee Yun Gyu, the Korean Team event stormer, who Sen thrashed. And Kodai Naraoka, who didn’t quite complete the Team event, in prequarters. Loh Kean Yew or Ng Tze Yong in quarters. Christie or Shi Yuqi in semis. Literally any of them can beat him, and he can beat anyone, because it’s Srikanth.

* Ashmita Chaliha gets Indonesian 5th seed Gregoria Mariska Tunjung first up. Their game styles gives Ashmita a chance of an upset, but she’s shown no evidence yet of grabbing her opportunities at the highest level. Yet.

* Dhruv-Arjun start against unseeded, 5th ranked Hoki-Kobayashi. That half of the draw is wild with several dangerous unseeded pairings. Tough one.

* Treesa-Gayatri run into Korean third seeds Kim-Kong early in second round. Should they cross that, it’s an easier quarter. But once again, they have been handed a massive challenge early.

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*Ashwini-Tanisha get China No 2 Zheng-Zhang in Round 2. That is another tough draw.

* In mixed doubles, Sikki-Rohan get Malaysian Goh-Lai first, and then potentially Thai Jomkoh-Paewsampran. Again, not easy.

* Tanisha-Sai Pratheek start against Weng-Leong, followed by either Singaporean Kwek-Wong or inspirational Malaysian Toh Ee Wei playing with Chen Tang Jie. Tough draw again.

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