Saina Nehwal is the best bet; Sindhu and Srikanth are dark horses at Rio, says Parupalli Kashyap

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Saina Nehwal is the best bet; Sindhu and Srikanth are dark horses at Rio, says Parupalli Kashyap

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Arun S Kaimal


Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap believes that 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal is India’s best bet for a medal at Rio. The Hyderabad shuttler also said that apart from Saina, PV Sindhu, and Kidambi Srikanth are dark horses for a medal at the Olympics.

India will be sending its biggest-ever badminton contingent to Rio with seven shuttlers representing the country in four events. However, Parupalli Kashyap, who was part of the contingent at London, will not be part of the team after injuries ruined his dream. Although he is not part of the contingent, Kashyap, who is recuperating from his injury, believes that India has a good chance of winning medals in badminton with Saina Nehwal being the best bet.

"Saina is the best bet, considering the rankings and her form. Sindhu and Srikanth are like underdogs, dark horses of the tournament and anything can be expected from them," said Kashyap during the launch of a junior Delhi State-ranking tournament, reported PTI.

The 29-year-old also expressed his happiness about the qualification of the men's double pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, but said that it will be difficult for them to win a medal.

"I would not say that Manu and Sumeeth [sic] are contenders for a medal since it's a very tough competition since and this is the first time that men's double pair has qualified. I hope that they get good a win," said the Hyderabad shuttler, who created history by becoming the first male shuttler to reach the quarterfinals of men's singles at 2012 London Olympics.

Also read: Not just Saina, it’s time India adopted Kohli’s attitude

Kashyap, whose dreams of qualifying for his second Olympics were cut short after he suffered an injury during the German Open in March, rued the timing of the injury.

"I got injured in the first week of March and that was like a peak time. If the injury had been two months earlier to it, I would have been fine now and probably playing at Rio," said Kashyap.

Kashyap also said that he is looking forward to getting back on the court and is expecting to be back in the international circuit by September.

"I hope that I will get entry in the Indonesia GP gold but I am not sure about my entry in the next two super series because my ranking has dropped as I have not played for last few months," he said.

Also read: P V Sindhu: A worthy successor to Saina

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