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Saina to lead Indian charge at CWG

other Updated: Sep 02, 2010 23:38 IST
HT Correspondent

Ace shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Chetan Anand will spearhead the Indian challenge in the badminton event at the Commonwealth Games.

The Badminton Association of India on Thursday announced a strong, 10-member squad. It includes five women.

World number two Saina and the 2010 Asian Badminton Championship quarterfinalist, Aditi Mutatkar, will represent the country in the women's singles.

"I think we have a realistic chance of winning a few medals at the Games," said Saina. Talking about opponents, the shuttler said that barring Malaysians and Singaporeans, there are not many to worry about. "I am in form, and expect a good result."

The 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Chetan Anand will compete in the men's singles. P Kashyap, who reached the semifinals of the Singapore Super Series in June this year, will give him company in the event.

Kashyap, who is down with viral fever, spoke to HT over phone: "I was expecting the call. I was confident of making it because of my previous performances."

Jwala Gutta and V. Diju carry medal hopes in the mixed doubles. The duo reached the quarterfinals of the World Championship last month.

Jwala will pair with Ashwini Ponnappa in the women's doubles, while Aparna Balan has been included as a back up.

Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas will play the men's doubles. They too are medal prospects.

"The team has done reasonably well in the world championship. We have a month to go before the Games start, and the idea will be to peak without getting injured," national coach Pullela Gopichand said.