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Kurien to step in for Sanave

Source: PTI
April 25, 2006 23:59 IST
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Thomas Kurien will take over the doubles responsibilities in the Indian squad for the Thomas Cup world men's badminton championship starting in Sendai, Japan, from Friday.

Kurien, who was in the reserve, would form the second doubles combination after Sanave Thomas pulled out citing his marriage engagement.

The nine-member Indian team, which also includes Commonwealth Games singles bronze medallist Chetan Anand, national champion Anup Sridhar, Arvind Bhatt, Rupesh Kumar, Jaseel Ismail and V Diju, left for Bangkok today en route to Japan.

India is placed in Group A with holders China and Germany.

National coach Vimal Kumar said the team was in good shape and would look to make it to the quarterfinals.

"I will be happy if we reach the quarterfinal stage. The team had a good practice session and are confident of a good show," Vimal told PTI from Bangalore.

"Kurien will pair up with Jaseel while V Diju will partner Rupesh Kumar. He (Kurien) has done well in the training sessions," the coach said on Kurien's promotion.

Vimal, whose tenure ends after the Thomas Cup, said he was satisfied with the team's performance.

"I have been associated with the team for two-and-a-half years and have done whatever I could for the improvement of the game. There are some good young talented players who can do the country proud in the coming years," he said.

Indian team: Chetan Anand, Anup Sridhar, Arvind Bhatt, Nikhil Kanetkar, Anand Pawar Rupesh Kumar, Thomas Kurien, V Diju Jaseel Ismail.

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