NEW DELHI, April 21 (PTI): With ace shuttler Saina Nehwal giving the tournament a miss, teen sensation P V Sindhu and national champion K Srikanth will spearhead the Indian challenge at the USD 200,000 Asian Badminton championship which gets under way at Gimcheon, Korea tomorrow.
Olympic bronze-medallist, Saina, who won a bronze at the 2010 edition, decided to take rest to focus on the Thomas and Uber Cup next month and it will now come down to Sindhu and Srikanth to keep the tri-colour fluttering.
The 18-year-old Sindhu, who won the Malaysia Open and Macau Open last year, will start her campaign against Cheung Ngan Yi in the women’s singles but she has a tough task ahead as she is likely to meet Japan’s Eriko Hirose next.
If the Indian crosses the hurdle, the World Championship bronze-medallist will fancy avenging her India Open loss to Shixian Wang, the top seed in the tournament.
In men’s singles, it would be an interesting clash between seventh seed K Srikanth and two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion, Lin Dan, who is set to play only his second tournament this year after making a comeback at the China Masters Grand Prix Gold in Jiangsu, China last week.
The Chinese, also known as ‘Super Dan’, made a successful return to international badminton as he won the China Masters last week, beating compatriot Houwei Tian in straight games.
Srikanth, who has gained the reputation of a giant killer, had troubled world number one Lee Chong Wei in the semifinals of Singapore Open and he would look to use his experience against the world’s best player.