Rio 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Carolina Marin pulled out of the Tokyo 2020 edition of the Games as she picked up a knee injury earlier this year.
The three-time World Champion was in top form this year having won four of the five finals and was the favourite to win the gold once again.
However, her absence will certainly improve India’s PV Sindhu’s hopes of clinching the elusive gold medal this time around.
In Rio 2016, Sindhu lost the finals to Marin after winning the first set only to go down 19-21, 21-12, 21-15.
Chetan Anand, a four-time national winner in badminton, opined that although Marin is absent from Tokyo 2020, there are other important competitors such as Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.
“If Marin was there, she would have been one of the medallists. I am pretty sure of that. Even after coming back from an injury, she has won a couple of tournaments. But there are other fierce competitors as well like Tai Tzu-ying. They have been very consistent.
“You also have Ratchanok Intanon who can hit a lot of smashes and winners with sheer power. So, it won't be easy for Sindhu, but she will come out good I believe,” Anand told Olympics.com.
Sindhu suffered a defeat at the hands of Tai Tzu-ying at the World Tour finals earlier this year and trails the head-to-head 5-13. However, the Taiwanese badminton star lost to Sindhu 21-13, 21-15 in Rio 2016.
“In big tournaments, Sindhu mostly gets the better of Tai. So, this will be a psychological advantage for her. I hope that the run continues and does not break in Tokyo. But since her Olympic win in Rio, Tai has beaten Sindhu. It will be an interesting match should they meet in the semis,” reckoned Anand.