Former India shuttler Aparna Popat, who represented the country at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, feels that the men's team are in with their best chance to pocket a medal at the Thomas Cup. India, so far has never won a medal in the event, and now face hosts Denmark in the quarters.
Team India has made it to the quarters of the Thomas Cup after a gap of 11 years, the men's shuttlers will be up against a strong Denmark team on Friday. Former India player Aparna Popat feels that this is perhaps country's best chance to win a medal at the prestigious event. “If there’s any chance, then it’s tomorrow,” Popat told Olympics.com.
On Thursday, the Indian team lost their last group campaign against China 1-4. “It really depends on how the players are looking at it. I hope they have had enough viewing of these new players before they go into the tie and they make use of this opportunity,” said Popat. “I just hope it happens because men’s badminton (in India) needs this boost.”
While there have been a few performers in men's badminton over the years, who have proved their mettle, but there hasn't been a formiddable all-round unit that could take on the world.
“It will give them a lot of confidence, because they have done it on their own merit. There were hardly any seniors in the team,” said Popat.
“If it was an individual open tournament, one loss and you are sitting out for the rest of the week. But it’s not so here and that’s the biggest advantage for juniors playing a tournament like this. When you are young, and you play in a team you learn much more. There are people with you, players with you who have the same goal."