The Indian contingent had a mixed performance at the recently concluded Rio 2016 Olympics. While the likes of PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar impressed, India’s performance as a whole was below expectations. India managed only 2 medals, a come down from the 6 achieved in London, 2012. A major reason for this is the prevalence of cricket. Here, we look at 5 sports which could challenge cricket in India.
Badminton is now on the lips of all Indians. This is due to the performance of Indian shuttler, PV Sindhu at Rio 2016. Sindhu won the silver medal in women’s singles, in the process, becoming the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Olympics.
Badminton is the second most played sport in India after cricket. Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand have both won the All England Open. They achieved the feat in 1980 and 2001 respectively.
More recently, Saina Nehwal was ranked one in the world in 2015. Nehwal also won a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics. She is currently ranked 5 in the world, followed by Sindhu at 10. The highest ranked men’s player is Srikanth Kadambi, 11. Kadambi, incidentally, reached the quarter finals in men’s singles at Rio 2016.
A major reason supporting the rise of badminton is the relative lack of expense in training. Also, badminton has become a part of the middle class life in India. Come winter, most households can be seen partaking in the sport.
The ultimate impact of PV Sindhu’s success would be realized if India started investing actively in badminton, which would lead to future success in the sport.