Team Lithuania at Rio Olympics: Tennis and Badminton
The Lithuanian team in this year's Olympic Games includes at least 68 athletes who will compete in 16 different sports. Two of them will represent the country on the courts of tennis and badminton.
Akvilė Stapušaitytė, 30, will represent Lithuania in women’s singles badminton event. Stapušaitytė was ranked this week at the 78th position in BWF World Rankings.
It will be the third Olympic Games in a row for the Lithuanian sportswoman. She attended the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, and lost to the Danish player Tine Baun in the second round. In 2012 Olympic Games in London she was eliminated after the group stage.
Stapušaitytė has won the Lithuanian national badminton championships 10 times in a row since 2006. Her highest rank was earlier this year when she took the 76th place in the world.
It will be the first time in that Lithuania will have a tennis player at the Olympic Games, 25-year-old Ričardas Berankis. The best Lithuanian tennis player qualified for the Olympics after a good season on the courts with several titles and finals.
Earlier this season, Berankis reached his highest ATP ranking, at No. 50. His current rank is 56 in the world. Berankis may pass several rounds in the tennis courts in Rio de Janeiro.
He has gained confidence on the court and has been playing smart and tactical tennis. Berankis is guided by one of the most experienced coaches, German Dirk Hordorff, who will prepare the Lithuanian for the Olympics, but before he is flying to Brazil, Berankis will take part in the main event of the grass season - the Wimbledon.
During the season of 2016 Berankis has won 26 matches and lost 13.