Tokyo Olympics: Find out the shuttlers who stand the best chance of winning an Olympic Gold

Will reigning Olympic champions Carolina Marin and Chen Long defend their medals or can we expect new winners in Tokyo?

Tokyo Olympics logo; Credit: Olympics Twitter page

It does not get bigger than the Olympics for athletes and shuttlers are no different. With the best in the world competing for the top honours, Olympics provide the perfect platform to attain legendary status for a player. Carolina Marin was at her lethal best when she bagged the Gold in Rio 2016 and Chen Long was equally unstoppable in the last Olympics. With new crop of world class players dominating the sport, let us look at the players who have the best chance of winning the coveted Gold medal in Tokyo Olympics:

Chen Long

The all-conquering Chinese player emerged from the shadows of his compatriot Lin Dan to make a name for himself in the last Olympics, winning the Gold against the then World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei. With this medal, he found the final puzzle missing in his distinguished career.

He has won two World Championships in 2014 and 2015 and two All England titles – 2013 and 2015. It was in the 2015 final when he eased past Lin Dan en route to the title. This elevated his position as the next big thing in his country. With experience on his side, Chen Long knows this is his best chance for a second Olympic Gold.

Kento Momota

The local favourite Momota is rightly the World No.1 male shuttler in the world. With an impressive run of late, he has won many titles including the back-to-back World Championships in 2018 and 2019. The Japanese shuttler also has two Asian Championships to his name.

Besides, he has also won the prestigious All England Open title, defeating Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in a high-octane final. With numerous other accolades to his name, Momota is expected to lead the race in the men’s category. He can expect a tough battle from Axelsen and Anders Antonsen in Tokyo.

Carolina Marin

The reigning Olympic champion has not slowed a bit after her successful run to the Gold medal in Rio Olympics. After beating PV Sindhu in the final, she became the first non-Asian shuttler to win the women’s singles Gold in Olympics. It was another feather in her illustrious cap.

The hard-hitting Spaniard has three World Championships titles and an All England Open winner’s medal to her name. The left-hand shuttler has been one of the most consistent players for a long time in badminton, putting her right in the midst to defend her Gold medal.

PV Sindhu

India’s poster girl for badminton, Sindhu came agonizingly close in Rio Olympics after losing a nail-bitter final to Marin. The Silver was a historic moment in itself as she became the first Indian shuttler to achieve that feat. Five years later Sindhu’s game has only improved as the 25-year-old is in the best shape of her career.

After the Rio Olympics, Sindhu endured an unwanted streak of losing in major finals. Be it the 2017 and 2018 World Championships finals or the 2018 Commonwealth Games final, she struggled to get past the last hurdle. Sindhu ended the barren run in 2019, becoming the first Indian to win a Gold at the World Championships. At the peak of her career, she will be eager to go one step further in Tokyo.

Sportslumo Desk

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