Abhinn prepares for world championships

National badminton champion Abhinn Shyam Gupta is preparing for the NSCI tournament in Mumbai in the run-up to the world championships in July.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Contrary to popular opinion Pulella Gopichand is not the current national badminton champion - that title belongs to Abhinn Shyam Gupta. He's currently the highest ranked Indian in the world rankings, and winning the NSCI tournament in Mumbai will be the ideal preparation for him for the world championships in Birmingham next month. "There was SARS, because of which the world championships were postponed and lots of tournaments were cancelled. We need to play tournaments when there are important matches. So I think it is very important," said Gupta. He, along with Nikhil Kanetkar, are the only Indians in the men's singles draw in the world championships. Ranked 58th in the world, Abhinn says he does have a decent chance of getting to the quarters if he gets a good draw and does not have to play the top players in the first few rounds. A defensive player, Abhinn's game is based on long rallies and patience. "I need to improve on my attacking game. But I'll try to play my own strategy," said the champion player. Over the next six weeks, Abhinn plans to attend some more coaching camps to prepare for Birmingham, beginning July 28.