Gimcheon (South Korea), April 21 IANS | 6 months ago

Reigning national champions P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will lead the Indian challenge at the USD 200,000 Asian Badminton Championships -- starting Tuesday -- in the absence of Saina Nehwal, who is taking rest to prepare for next month's Uber Cup.

The only Indian in women's singles, Sindhu will start her campaign against Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan Yi, whom the Hyderabadi beat on the way to her first Grand Prix Gold title in Malaysia last year.

The World No.10 is expected to ease into the quarter-finals where her first real test could be in the face of third seed Yeon Ju Bae, who will be playing at home. The South Korean also has a 2-0 record against the Indian.

Though Srikanth is the only Indian to be seeded, at seventh, at the continental championships, in the first round he has drawn two-time Olympic and five-time World Champion Lin Dan.

The Chinese made a brilliant comeback at the China Masters Grand Prix Gold last week -- his first tournament since winning the World Championship last year. Dan also has a 1-0 lead against Srikanth.

R.M.V. Gurusaidutt and Parupalli Kashyap are also in the fray in the men's singles competition and have a much better chance of progressing ahead in the rounds than Srikanth.

Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy and Akshay Dewalkar-Pranaav Jerry Chopra will be vying for important points in men's doubles while Commonwealth Games gold medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa is the only Indian pair in women's doubles contention.

There is no Indian representation in mixed doubles.

(Posted on 21-04-2014)

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