Mumbai, Nov 4:
Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan feels that Indian badminton has progressed remarkably in the recent years but the Chinese will be back to dominate the shuttle sport in the coming years.
“In India, you see players like Saina and Srikanth, they have progressed very well. The youngsters are doing very well too,” said Dan, a two-time Olympic Champion.
‘Super Dan’ believes that China will soon be back to being the best.
“Currently in China, young people are getting more involved in the sport. In high schools, they have there groups and all. Sooner or later (we will back to be where we were),” Dan replied when asked if the Chinese domination in the sport is on the wane.
Is there more variety in men’s singles now and Dan answered:”Earlier, there was more variety, but the variety is growing”.
Danish legend Peter Gade termed emergence of India as a badminton powerhouse due to evolution of sport in the country.
“First of all, we see big evolution in popularity of badminton in India because of good performances in the last many years. Saina Nehwal, (PV) Sindhu and (Kidambi) Srikanth.
“It is very important for the sport to have celebrities, people who are performing on a high level and at the same time the other people know about it,” Gade, who is part of the Legend’s Vision Tour, said here.
“That is what you are seeing now in India. In India, people also know a lot of about the guys sitting here (the legends). So that is a very good combination. We have seen a big evolution of Indian badminton players and we need the broader public to know about these players, not only as players but as stars,” said the 40-year-old player.
The scenario in Indian badminton has been on the rise with shutter Kidambi Srikanth clinching four Super Series titles this year.
Gade feels one among Sindhu or Srikanth may go on to win the All England title in their respective categories.
“You had Sindhu winning a silver at the Olympics, Srikanth winning the Super Series, so it can happen very soon. It is really important for the game of badminton that India produce players at this level and the big results will come.”
According to Gade, Asia still remains the power-centre in badminton world.
“For me, I still see the powercenter as Asia. Now may be we have more different countries taking part from Asian and Europe, we have seen Carolina Marin from Spian and a few others.
“I have been working with the French team, trying to produce players, a few things are happening but I still see, the power centre is in Asia. Denmark is also producing players for the highest-level and a few other European countries, it is good for the game if we have more countries taking part,” he added.
“There is lot of attention and resources available in Asia, and we still have a lot of work to do in Europe to bring badminton to the same level,” said the player.
Recently, Srikanth had said that the days of Chinese domination are over, but Gade says coming period is exiciting one for international badminton.
“In the men’s singles, you have Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, Chen Long, and then you have some younger players coming forward and starting to make their impact like Srikath. It’s a very exciting period for men’s singles and hopefully we will see some great matches and fights.”
Gade also said the challenge for his compatriot Viktor Axelsen will be to remain stable and perform at every single tournament.
“His challenge for the coming years will be to remain stable, perform at every single tournament at the highest level, it’s a challenge for him to take care of his body and his preparations in the right way. He still needs to develop his game to be at the top in men’s singles,” he added. PTI