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All eyes on Saina as shuttlers begin quest for Rio glory today


Rio de Janeiro: Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal will lead the seven-member Indian challenge when they kick off their Rio Olympic campaign in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

Saina, the bronze medallist at the 2012 London Olympics, is considered as the country’s best bet for a medal and will face local favourite Lohaynny Vicente in the women’s singles opening round.

While PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth are the other shuttlers who will represent the country in the singles event, men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy and women’s doubles combo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa will also launch their respective challenge.

Among other Indians in the fray, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza will compete in the first round of the mixed doubles tennis competition while India’s highly rated boxer Shiva Thapa will begin his campaign in the first round in the 56kg bantamweight division.

Having already secured their berth for the quarterfinals, the Indian men’s hockey team will aim to consolidate their position when they take on Netherlands in their fourth match of Pool B.

After enduring a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Australia, the Indian women’s hockey team will look to put a much improved show when they face United States today.

In archery, Bombayla Devi and Deepika Kumari will aim to progress through to the quarterfinals of the individual recurve event whey they will play their respective pre-quarters rounds today.

Meanwhile, golfers Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia will tee off in the men’s individual round one.

India, which have sent their largest-ever contingent of 119 athletes in Rio Olympics, are yet to open their medal account in the ongoing Summer Games. (ANI)

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