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Indian Doubles Teams Continue to Compete Strongly at the World Championships

In a resounding display of skill and determination, Indian badminton stars are making their presence felt at the BWF World Championships in Copenhagen. Notably, favorites Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, along with the women’s duo Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, have charged into the pre-quarterfinals with spectacular victories. Dominant Performance by Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the favored Indian doubles pair, demonstrated their prowess by defeating Kenneth Zhe Hooi Choo and Ming Cheun Lim of Australia. The Indian duo secured their victory with a convincing scoreline of 21-16, 21-19, highlighting their excellent coordination and strategic gameplay. Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand’s Triumph Equally remarkable was the performance of the women’s doubles duo, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand. They triumphed over Chang Ching Hui and Yang Ching Tun of Chinese Taipei with a score of 21-18, 21-10. This victory showcased their tenacity and impressive teamwork on the court. Anticipation for Upcoming Matches Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty’s next challenge awaits them in the form of Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin. The Indian duo is gearing up to face this opposition after the 10th-seeded Indonesians secured a hard-fought victory against the English pair of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy. Promising Previous Encounter Interestingly, in their prior encounter at the Japan Open last month, the Indian pair emerged victorious against Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin. This victory adds an element of anticipation and excitement to their upcoming clash. Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand’s Determined Effort Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand’s journey to the pre-quarterfinals was marked by determination and skill. Despite a momentary trailing score of 5-2 in the first game, they rallied back with powerful smashes to level the score at 6-6. With consistent efforts, the Indian duo managed to maintain a two-point lead at the break (11-9). Clinching Victory with Confidence As the game progressed, Treesa and Gayatri’s control over the match became evident. They steadily increased their lead, with Treesa’s crucial points bringing the score to 19-15. Despite a few unforced errors, Gayatri’s composed play secured the first game in their favor. Decisive Second Game The second game witnessed one-sided domination by the Indian duo. Starting from a narrow lead of 10-8, Treesa and Gayatri clinched four consecutive points to solidify their position. From a score of 16-10, they extended their lead with five more points, sealing their victory in a commendable display of skill and strategy. Players’ Reflections on Victory Following their impressive win, Gayatri Gopichand expressed her satisfaction, acknowledging the initial tension as it was their first match. She also emphasized her growing confidence in playing powerful smashes, a vital aspect of their gameplay. Treesa Jolly attributed their success to variations in their playstyle that helped them secure quick points and maintain control over the match. Their upcoming challenge involves facing the world No.1 pair of Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan, who had previously defeated them at the German Open last year. Conclusion The remarkable victories of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, along with Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, stand as a testament to Indian badminton’s growing prowess on the global stage. With each match, these athletes are not only showcasing their skills but also representing the nation’s dedication to the sport. As they proceed to the next stages of the BWF World Championships, the excitement and support from fans continue to surge.

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Supreme Court Lifts Stay on BAI Circular: Restriction Removed for Players and Staff in Grand Prix Badminton League

In a significant development, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, invalidated a Karnataka High Court ruling that had temporarily suspended the implementation of circulars released by the Badminton Association of India (BAI). These circulars cautioned badminton players, coaches, and technical staff registered under BAI against involvement in tournaments deemed ‘unrecognized’. The case is titled Badminton Association of India v. Bitsport Private Limited and ors. Reversal of High Court Order by Supreme Court The Supreme Court’s bench, comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and Dipankar Datta, observed that the High Court’s ex-parte directive was passed without affording an opportunity for all parties involved to present their views. Consequently, the apex court overturned the High Court’s decision and directed it to reconsider the case after affording due consideration to all stakeholders. Furthermore, the High Court was urged to expedite its deliberations on the matter. Background of the Case The legal imbroglio originated when the Karnataka High Court issued a stay order in July, suspending the effect of the aforementioned circulars. Justice Krishna S Dixit, while pronouncing the order, restrained BAI from taking coercive measures based on these circulars. This effectively permitted players, coaches, and staff to participate in the upcoming Grand Prix Badminton League. This High Court verdict was in response to a petition filed by the organizers of the Grand Prix Badminton League. The petition contested two circulars circulated by BAI in April and July respectively. Content of the Circulars The circulars in question explicitly stipulated that players, coaches, and staff could not partake in tournaments that lacked recognition by the Association without obtaining proper approval. Violators of these circulars were susceptible to actions under BAI’s established regulations. Impact on Grand Prix Badminton League The Grand Prix Badminton League, sanctioned by the Karnataka Badminton Association, had received an impressive count of over 450 registrations for its upcoming second season, set to commence on August 27. However, the uncertainty caused by the circulars cast doubt on the participation of numerous players. Organizers expressed frustration over their attempts to seek clarification from BAI regarding the league’s status, which went unanswered. Faced with the imminent commencement of the league in just a month’s time, they approached the High Court, resulting in the issuance of the stay order on the circulars. Supreme Court Intervention Responding to the High Court’s authorization for involvement in such leagues, the Badminton Association of India took the matter to the Supreme Court. Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, alongside Advocates Azim H Laskar, Bikas Kargupta, and Chandra Bhushan Prasad, represented BAI before the apex court. On the opposing side, Senior Advocate Dhruv Mehta, along with Advocates Gyanendra Kumar, Soumya Dasgupta, and Anupama Dhurve, all represented by Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, spoke for the private league organizers. In conclusion, the Supreme Court’s decisive action in overturning the Karnataka High Court’s order reinstates BAI’s authority to regulate the participation of its registered members in recognized tournaments. This resolution carries significant implications for the world of badminton in India and the organization of tournaments across the nation.

Supreme Court Lifts Stay on BAI Circular: Restriction Removed for Players and Staff in Grand Prix Badminton League Read More »

Game Reboot and Renewed Ambition Essential for PV Sindhu, Struggling to Overcome Defeat against Nozomi Okuhara

The looming shadow of past triumphs is stretching its crippling grasp over PV Sindhu’s current performance, demanding an immediate overhaul and a genuine resurgence. A decade-long battle at the World Championships, marked by astonishing upsets since her bronze win in 2013 and the addition of two Olympic medals, now beckons for a force to awaken the 28-year-old athlete. She must be reminded that her potential extends well beyond, possibly reaching 32-33, with the capacity to seize multiple World titles—beyond the one earned in Basel. The narrative shouldn’t conclude in the iconic Sindhu vs Okuhara rivalry with a fading demeanor. Trailing along, mirroring Nozomi Okuhara’s tempo and rhythm, and offering minimal originality in her approach, paints an inadequate picture. This saga of the World Championships requires a more fitting finale, one where Sindhu doesn’t merely react but takes charge, reviving her inspiration and determination. The solution lies within arm’s reach, embodied by her opponent across the court. Instead of scrambling tirelessly from corner to corner, retrieving every shuttle to eke out points, it’s time for a reawakening and rediscovery. The question remains unanswered: did the 2019 gold medal completely satisfy Sindhu’s hunger for an intense battle? However, her attacks lacked the sting and precision required, and her defensive play lacked the tenacity needed to execute that crucial, pinpoint shot. This deficiency became evident in her match against Okuhara, where she found herself trapped in a 21-14, 21-14 struggle on Tuesday. In stark contrast to her dominating 21-7, 21-7 victory and mindset in the Basel final that secured her the gold, Sindhu’s performance in her first match at Copenhagen seemed lackluster and distant. While reflecting on the seventh anniversary of her 2016 Olympic silver might provide a boost to her morale, it also signaled a concerning attachment to the past—a state of mind and body seemingly stuck. As she embarked on the challenging journey of the 2023 World Championship campaign, her focus seemed divided, possibly hindering her present potential. Both Okuhara and the Indian contender entered the Round of 32 in the Copenhagen World Championships with a difficult year of faltering form behind them. However, it was solely the Japanese player who exhibited the determination to let go of her 2017 World title, flip the page, and quite literally lower her head in a relentless pursuit—lunging and retrieving tirelessly to revive her previously victorious and combative style of play. Her commitment to embarking anew on the journey for a fresh goal was evident. Hailing from Nagano, the Japanese athlete had secured the World No. 1 position in 2019 but had since been shackled and hindered by injuries for consecutive seasons. Yet, on her comeback this season, Okuhara showed up with a readiness to endure extended court time. It’s truly remarkable how the 5’2” player, much like Yamaguchi, manages to cover the court astonishingly well, employing an elevated shuttle game that involves leaping and contorting to strike the shuttle even when it’s positioned well behind her head—repeating this feat point after punishing point, even at the age of 28. Although Sindhu’s shots weren’t excessively forceful, her predictable Plan A, devoid of any other strategies, made Okuhara race across the court to reach diagonal corners and cover both flanks at the net. Okuhara’s willingness to invest in this level of hard work visibly frustrated Sindhu, leading to her conceding errors consistently. Okuhara followed her customary routine – exchanging words with herself before stepping onto the court, a respectful nod, and then the full-stretch lunge, setting the stage for what lay ahead. On the other hand, Sindhu initiated the match with a cross drop winner, but her subsequent angled shots lacked accuracy, often finding the net instead. Okuhara possessed a limited number of outright kill shots, although they proved sufficient since Sindhu’s attacks lacked both power and precision from the opposite side of the net. Employing her signature high serves and tosses, Okuhara effectively neutralized Sindhu. This tactic, combined with Okuhara’s capability to crouch low in stretched-out defense, allowed her to gain control over extended rallies, even as early as 4-3 in the opening game. The notable instance when Sindhu utilized her height advantage to execute towering jump smashes that turned into sharp kills was during the Rio Games semifinal. However, since then, Okuhara had shifted to deploying high tosses and unreturnable high lifts, countering Sindhu’s aerial attacks and wearing down her long limbs. Failing to find openings within the court due to Okuhara’s heroic defense, Sindhu was forced to aim for the lines, where her accuracy faltered. Sindhu struggled to execute low pickups without hitting the net, and her pushes often veered too long or wide, making it difficult for her to control midcourt exchanges. Okuhara’s strategy was simple: extend the rallies, place her cross drops accurately, and capitalize on inevitable errors stemming from Sindhu’s defeated wild swings, ultimately securing the opening set 21-14. Sindhu’s sole initiative came at the beginning of the second set, as she introduced a variation in her serves, momentarily unsettling Okuhara and causing her to fall behind 0-9. However, Okuhara swiftly adapted to Sindhu’s tactic and regained momentum, narrowing the deficit to just two points at 9-11 before the break. The sluggish court conditions demanded that Sindhu regain her past power-driven approach and uphold her defensive intensity, both of which she struggled to deliver. When the match slipped from her grasp, she attempted to inject half-hearted pace into her shots, but even that resolve dwindled as Okuhara maintained her unwavering stance.

Game Reboot and Renewed Ambition Essential for PV Sindhu, Struggling to Overcome Defeat against Nozomi Okuhara Read More »

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