Guwahati will be witness to top Indian shuttlers as the Assamese city is set to welcome the 83rd Senior National Badminton Championships 2018-19, commnecing from February 12. This is the first instance of the prestigious Nationals is returning to the northeast, since Guwahati last hosted it in 2010. It is in tune with the Badminton Association of India's (BAI) tireless attempts to spread the sport to all corner of the country.
It goes without saying that defending champion Saina Nehwal and last edition's runner-up PV Sindhu will be the biggest attractions on the women's side. Both have been in decent form in the recent past, and will be expected to provide fireworks with their infectious energy and playing style.
For Saina, she will be high on confidence after her triumph at Indonesia Open. She will look to claim her fourth Nationals.
Former champions Sameer Verma and Parupalli Kashyap will be leading the charge on the men's side. Lakshya Sen, who was the semifinalist in the previous edition, will be eager to make an impact after a stunning season in juniors that saw him winning medals at the World Junior Championships, the Youth Olympics and the Asian Junior Championships.
Commenting on the prestigious tournament, BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma said: "Our goal has been to take the sports to all parts of the country to let sport enthusiasts watch stars and icons of the game in action. Hosting the Senior Nationals in Guwahati will be a great experience for the local players as well as fans. I wish the players and the officials a great success."
Meanwhile, Saina pointed out, "I have represented the North Eastern Warriors in PBL this season, however, we did not play in the northeast. With the senior Nationals being hosted in Guwahati it will be a great opportunity to play in front of the northeast fans and am looking forward to the Championship," said the London Olympics bronze medallist.
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega