CWG 2014 Badminton: India start campaign on July 24

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PV Sindhu, India's medal hope
Glasgow, July 23: Despite star shuttler Saina Nehwal's last-minute pull-out, India will look to maintain their impressive run when they begin their campaign with a clash against minnows Ghana in the mixed team event of the 20th Commonwealth Games here tomorrow.

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India had won two gold, one silver and one bronze in 2010 and this time again they would look to repeat their performance even though they suffered a jolt with the late withdrawal of Saina due to injury.

P Kashyap and PV Sindhu are expected to be among medals in men's and women's singles respectively while the women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa would be raring to go to defend the gold they won in 2010.

The Indian team has been considerably weakened due to the absence of Saina but it will still be in the reckoning for a medal in the combined mixed team event.

The badminton competitions at the Glasgow Games begin with mixed team event at the Emirates Arena and India has been placed in Pool B along with Ghana, Kenya and Uganda and it should not be a problem to top the group and make it to the knock-out round. The Indian team is raring to go and they have left behind the disappointment of Saina's pulling out.

"The players are upbeat, they are training well and ready. We hope to do very well and maintain our level," team manager Tej Pal Singh Puri said.

About tomorrow's match against Ghana and Kenya, Puri said, "We should be able to top our group and make it to the quarterfinals."

The group winner of the six pools and the two best runners-up teams will make it to the quarterfinals.

"We won silver last time but we cannot say anything now about our performance in the knock-out phase. There will be a draw after the preliminary rounds and we will know who plays whom in the knock-out phase," he added.

India has a strong chance to win at least a medal in the men's singles after the pulling out of world number one Lee Chong Wei.

PTI

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