MUMBAI, July 24: Former badminton player Aparna Popat said today the upcoming Asian Games will be tougher than the Commonwealth Games and it was important the players struck form ahead of the continental multi-sport event.
The former nine-time badminton national champion said Indian shuttlers are capable of beating any of the current top players and if they strike form, they will definitely come back with medals from the Asian Games.
The 18th edition of the Asian Games will be held in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2.
�See it�s tough, we know that the Asian Games are going to be definitely tougher than the Commonwealth Games. But we also know that a lot of it is dictated by the form of players themselves,� the 40-year-old told reporters here.
She was speaking on sidelines of a panel discussion organised by the Rotary Club of Bombay.
�By speculating now and saying yes and looking at ranking and saying yes they might or might not come with a medal, it really depends on the form that they carry into the tournament.
�Because they (Indian shuttlers) are capable of beating any of the top players today, if they strike form, then they will definitely come back with medals,� added Popat, who won senior national championships from 1997 to 2006.
Popat believes that every round will be �challenging� for the Indian players in the Asian Games.
Asked why she thought the Asian Games are difficult than the Commonwealth Games (CWG), she said �Because badminton is dominated mostly by Asians.
�You look at the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, name it, Chinese Taipei today, everybody, each and every country pretty much is quite tough and that�s why (in the) Asian Games, every round is going to be challenging (for the Indian players).� � PTI