pv sindhu
PV SInghu has to be on top form against the Japan shuttlers. Pictured: PV Sindhu in action during an India Open badminton match in New Delhi, on March 31, 2016IANS

India men's and women's singles shuttlers have been pitted in a relatively easy group for Rio 2016, which is set to start from August 5, while the players in the doubles competition are placed in a difficult group.

Saina Nehwal is in Group G, which includes lesser-known players such as Lohaynny Vicente and Maria Ulitina. The fifth seed should not have any problem in getting past these opponents. Likewise, ninth seed PV Sindhu has also got a comfortable group on paper, with Michelle Li and Laura Sarosi as the other two shuttlers in the pool.

In the men's singles arena, lone Indian competitor, Kidambi Srikanth, has been placed in Group H, whoch also has Lino Munoz and Honri Hurskainen. The ninth seed has not been consistent in the badminton circuit this season, and he can use this group stage as perfect preparation for the bigger clashes ahead.

The singles players might have an easy initial draw, but the Indian men's and women's doubles teams are not that lucky. Manu Attri and Sumeth Reddy are in Group B of the men's competition, and it also includes the second seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, who are serious contenders for a gold medal.

The pairing of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will have to be at the top of their game in Rio, right from the initial rounds, as top seeds Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo are also included in their group along with two other pairs. Jwala and Ashwini are an experienced pair in the women's doubles competition, as they have been playing on badminton circuit for some time. They also represented India in London 2012, but failed to reach the last eight of the competition.