Sindhu and Saina’s success graph fell down; World champion was Sindhu Lakin, who fought for the whole year Lakshya Sen made the top 40 in the world rankingsNew Delhi:
India’s star provider PV Sindhu won the gold medal at the World Championships this year but struggled with poor performance the rest of the year. The performance of Saina Nehwal, another female badminton player in the country, also came down in the graph this year. The young Lakshya Sen emerged as a hope for the future in the year 2019 with mixed success for Indian badminton. After two silver medals and two bronze medals, Sindhu earned India her first gold at the World Cup, although she could not repeat the form after that. India won two medals from the World Cup in Switzerland. Apart from Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth won bronze in the single men category 36 years after Prakash Padukone won the medal. In the doubles category, the pair Satwiksairaj Ranireddy and Chirag Shetty Thailand won the Super 500 title and reached the final of the French Open Super 750. It became the first Indian pair to win the Super 500 title.
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The 18-year-old Lakshya won five titles this year and reached a career-best 32nd place. Saurabh Verma won the Super 100 titles in Vietnam and Hyderabad. He also reached the final of the Syed Modi Super 300 tournament. In the women’s singles, apart from Sindhu, Saina Nehwal won Indonesia’s Masters Super 300 title, however, apart from this one performance, Saina’s annual performance was loose. Sindhu, who won five silver medals last year and gold in the World Tour Finals, did not show up in shape much of the year. Trained under Korean coach Kim Joon Hyun, Sindhu finished second at the Indonesia Open and won the World Cup gold in Basel. She is the second female player to win five medals at the World Championships after former Olympic and world champion Zhang Ning. She then failed to retain the title at the final World Tour Finals of the season.
Praneeth reached the Swiss Open final in the men’s category and finished 11th in the world rankings at the end of the season. Kidambi Srikanth won four titles in 2017. He also achieved Commonwealth Games gold and number one in 2018, but this year it was average. He reached the India Open final while being out of the top 10 in the world rankings due to average performance in the remaining tournaments and was ruled out due to knee injury. HS Prannoy finished 26th in the standings. The goal, which was ranked 109 at the start of the year, jumped 76 places as second place at the Polish Open. He won Belgium International in September and then won the Dutch Open Super 100 and Saralorlux Super 100 titles. Bangladesh won the International Challenge at the end of the year after winning the Scottish Open in November. In doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy were eliminated from the first round in 13 tournaments, while three times in the second round. Before next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, coach Pullela Gopichand must make sure his players have the best rhythm.
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