Commonwealth Games bronze medallist R M V Gurusaidutt is desperate to avenge India’s Thomas Cup loss to Korea when they open their campaign against the hosts in badminton team event in the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
Gurusaidutt and his teammates had lost 2-3 to Korea in the men’s team event during the Thomas Cup after K Srikanth lost his opening match and the doubles pairs also failed to get across their higher-ranked opponents. However, Guru feels it is revenge time for India and believes the visitors can beat Korea at their own backyard.
“We hope to beat Korea this time. We have to win all three singles as their both doubles pairs are very strong. It is going to be tough but we have a chance of winning the singles. We can beat them,” Guru told ahead of their practice session.
The 24-year-old has been in good form this year as he won all his matches during the Thomas Cup and also won a bronze medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in August. “I got one-and-a-half month to prepare for the tournament and I have been training hard. I worked on my strengths and I am able to play on court for long time without errors. My net play is also okay now. I hope to do well here.
“This is my second Asian Games and I am looking forward to the team championship,” said Guru, who won’t feature in the individual event. India have so far won just seven bronze medals ever since badminton made its debut in the Asiad in 1966 with Syed Modi being the only singles player to win the yellow metal in 1982 when India hosted the Games.
India thus will look to break the 28-year-old jinx and national coach Pullela Gopichand is hoping his wards will carry the momentum of their good performance at the last two tournaments in Glasgow and Copenhagen.
“It is going to a tough event. We haven’t won many medals in the past but we have done well in the last two tournaments in CWG and the World Championship. So we hope that we will get good performances in the Asian Games also,” Gopichand said.
“It will be tough to beat Korea in Korea. We have to see the conditions. I hope we do well. We have some time to practice and depending on our opponents, we will chalk out our combinations and strategies,” he added.
Badminton events in the Asian Games will have the same format as it was during the Thomas and Uber Cup. The team events – men and women — will be held first, featuring three singles and two doubles each. Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and either Gurusaidutt or Sourabh Verma will play the singles.