Big Evolution

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Nov 2017 11:28:24

THERE is no denying that the world is taking note of India’s emergence lately as Badminton powerhouse, if the comment of Danish legend Peter Gade is anything to go by. Gade who, along with Chinese two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, was in Mumbai recently, did not hide appreciation of the big evolution taking place in Indian Badminton lately. At the same time Lin Dan too admitted that Indian Badminton has progressed remarkably in recent years but his tongue-in-cheek comment was that his country would bounce back soon to take back its place in world Badminton. India’s champion shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who has hat-trick of super series titles and four super series titles, however, feels that the days of Dan and Malaysian Lee Chong Wei are over and the field has become more open now and not a preserve of a couple of players. 

If this is the situation in world Badminton today it is very healthy for competition and would unleash a very rich crop of champion players the world over as players vie for coveted positions at international level. This throws up the possibility of more efforts being put in grooming new crop of players by Badminton authorities in countries where the game is avidly followed and seriously pursued. In India itself there is newfound passion for the game, thanks of course to the emergence of iconic players like K. Srikanth, Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu and others who have been blazing international courts and pocketing prestigious titles all around the world.

These players have contributed much to enhancing the popularity of the game in the country in the recent past. The Badminton Academies that have come up in some parts of the country are playing their own part in spotting and grooming talent from various parts of the country. It was a good move on the part of the authorities of Badminton Association of India (BAI) to allow school children free entry at the on-going Senior National Badminton Championships, now in progress in Nagpur. That will give them golden opportunity to see legends in action from close quarters. Such initiatives will go a long way in popularising and promoting the game among children.

A comment by Lin Dan in this regard is worth noting. He said that currently young children are more involved in the game in his country. The game is promoted in high schools and according to him this will lead to new crop of international players emerging and restoring China’s place in world Badminton. That is what the Badminton Association of India should be aiming to do as well. They should reach out to school authorities to include Badminton in their schools’ sports calendar so that a new generation of Badminton players will take shape.