Olympic Badminton: Indian badminton coach urges Olympic medal hopes to attend training camps

Indian badminton coach Agus Dwi Santoso has urged Olympic medal hopes to attend national training camps. Eight athletes can attend the training camp at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad.

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Only world champion PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth, women’s doubles specialist Sikki Reddy and former world number one Kidambi Srikanth are currently attending the camp, however.  London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal is a notable absentee following a fall-out with the SAI and the Badminton Association of India (BAI).

It comes after the SAI and BAI did not add Nehwal’s husband and Tokyo Olympic hopeful Parupalli Kashyap to their list of potential players for next year’s postponed Games. Satwiksairaj Ranki Reddy, who recently tested positive for coronavirus, is at her home in Amalapuram, while her mixed doubles partner Chirag Shetty has stayed in Mumbai.

Ashwini Ponnappa decided to stay in Bangalore and train at the Padukone-Dravid Centre of Sports Excellence. Santoso revealed he wanted more players to attend the camp at Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy to ensure the country was adequately prepared for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

“I understand SAI’s decision to allow eight players for the camp in this pandemic but only four players are training,” he said, as reported by Times of India. 

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I need more players of the same level, quality players because badminton is a mind game, it needs teamwork. It has been a few weeks and we are still training a few players and that is not good. It is important to train as a group so that players can compete hard and help each other – healthy competition is important.

I hope for support from SAI in getting more players to train. Once we have that, we would be in a better position to prepare and do well in tournaments including the Tokyo Olympics. India has earned two Olympic medals in badminton, with Sindhu adding a silver medal from Rio 2016 to Nehwal’s bronze from London 2012.

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Japan’s Kento Momota World Best Badminton player

Kento Momota is a Japanese badminton player. Kento is known for his volatile movements on the court and his random style of play. He has won the year 2019 All England Open tournaments, 2019 Asian Championships, 2018 World Championship, 2018 Asian Championships and 2012 World Junior Championships.

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Kento Momota
Kento Momota Badminton player

when precious legends come to our attention, their consistency is quite clear. Chiefly talking of the men’s singles discipline, the four legends have their specific skill set along with regular expertise. While Lin Dan’s footwork is a secret, Lee Chong Wei’s speed is incomparable. Taufik Hidayat to deserves a name here for his too perfect backhand. Also, Peter Gade’s trick shots are always worth watching.

Is there any shuttler near to what these legends established as top class badminton players?

Those following men’s singles for the last few months might have an answer with them. And it is none other than Kento Momota.

Well, this is very true that he has all the capability to be the one. But there are several factors which will be determining its realization. Srikanth, Axelsen and Son Wan Ho all have dominated the court at some point of time but lost their charm over time. Here also in this situation, one player can be a threat to him. Momota lost to A S Ginting in both the China Open final and the Asian Games.

But, apart from these two close losses to the Indonesian player, the 24-year-old sensation has won the World Championships (first from japan), the Asian Championships, the Indonesia Open, and the Japan Open in the past few months. Basically, he is going good overall. This youngest Japanese to have won a Superseries title holds a 9-2 win-loss record over Victor Axelsen. Momota is also a winner of  India Open  2016.

After news of him getting involved in illegal gambling surfaced, he had to miss the 2016 Olympics and face a ban of three years. The way he is playing in now seems to be the fruit of the long practice he did while in exile from world badminton. His aggression says this all.

As of now, he is back as the best version of himself. But the only thing remains to be seen here is — whether he will be able to maintain his streak of finals or not. Badminton is a game where only a one is win or loss that can make you or break.

Undoubtedly, the key to being a legend is consistency. He has won 241 matches of the 310 singles tournaments he played. Being 24, he has age on his side. There is some hope, what  Momota makes the full use of his opportunities and keep impressing the badminton world like he is doing now.

 Kento Momota
World Best Badminton player

Kento Momota Achievements

World Championships

Men’s singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2018 Nanjing Youth Olympic Sports Park Indoor Arena, Nanjing, China Shi Yuqi 21-11, 21-13  Gold
2015 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia Chen Lon g 9–21, 15–21  Bronze

Asian Junior Championships

Boys’ singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2012 Gimcheon Indoor Stadium, Gim Cheon, South Korea Soong Joo Ven 21–13, 22–20 Gold
2011 Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium, Lucknow, India Zulfadli Zulkiffli 18–21, 19–21 Bronze

Asian Championships

Men’s singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2019 Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium, Wuhan, China Shi
Yuqi
12–21, 21– 18, 21–8 Gold
2018 Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium, Wuhan, China Chen Long 21–17, 21–
13
Gold

World Junior Championships

Boys’ singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2012 Chiba Port Arena, Chiba, Japan Xue Song 21–17, 19–21, 21–19 Gold
2011 Taoyuan Arena, Taoyuan& Taipei, Chinese Taipei Zulfadli Zulkiffli 18–21, 18–21 Bronze

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