Bamang Tago confident of Indian shuttlers shining in Japan Open

Tokyo, 24 July: Arunachal Pradesh’s Bamang Tago, one of the executive members of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has been nominated as Team Manager of the 28-member Indian contingent for the Daihatsu Japan Open HSBC BWF World Tour Super 750 competition that commences from July 25.
The Indian contingent comprising 15 athletes, six coaches and as many members of the support staff have already landed in Tokyo eying for the coveted medals in the Daihatsu Japan Open HSBC BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament that culminates on July 30.

Tago was also the team manager of the Indian team during the All England Open World Tour Super 1000, held in Birmingham in March 2021.

The Japan Open tournament will take place at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo and has a total purse of $850,000. The 2023 Japan Open is the 18th tournament of the 2023 BWF World Tour and also part of the Japan Open championships, which had been held since 1977.

Star shuttler HS Prannoy is the highest seeded Indian in men’s singles at No. 8 while the 2022 Commonwealth Games-winning Indian doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are seeded third. Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, who has been battling poor form of late, will also look to get her rhythm back when she takes on 20th ranked Chinese Zhang Yi Man in the first round.

Besides Prannoy, the men’s singles line-up also includes the likes of former World No.1 Kidambi Srikanth, Thomas Cup winner Lakshya Sen and star doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponappa, besides others.

Prannoy, who won his maiden BWF World Tour title at the Malaysia Masters in May, remained India’s top-ranked player but dropped two spots to 10th. Prannoy, who lost in the second round at the Korea Open last week, is pitted against unseeded Li Shi Feng of China.

Srikanth will be up against Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. If they overcome their respective opening-round hurdles, Prannoy and Srikanth will clash in the battle for the quarterfinals where either of them may face top-seeded Viktor Axelsen.

Sen, who took a break and skipped Korea Open after winning the Canada Open earlier this month, will be up against youngster Priyanshu Rajawat in an all-Indian opening clash.

Among the other notable names in the contingent are Sikki Reddy, Dhruv Kapila, Mithun Manjunath, Rohan Kapoor, Sumeeth Reddy, Malvika Bansod, Aakarshi Kashyap, Tanisha Crasto, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri Gopichand, Kiran George and Arjun Ramachandran.

“Our athletes are doing hard under the guidance of highly experienced national chief coach Pullela Gopichand and the five other coaches are also extending their best efforts. So we are confident for the medals,” said Tago.

“Badminton in India has reached new heights after Himanta Biswa Sarma took charge as the President of Badminton Association of India, in terms of participation, infrastructures and coaching. Besides there are also some areas, where the work on reformation are in the pipeline,” said Tago.

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