Following the selection trials in New Delhi, the Badminton Association of India on Thursday announced strong Indian contingents to participate in the upcoming Thomas & Uber Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
For the Commonwealth Games, the men’s team consists of Lakshya Sen, Srikanth Kidambi, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty and B Sumeeth Reddy while PV Sindhu will lead the women’s squad which has Aakarshi Kashyap, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri P and Ashwini Ponappa.
Sumeet Reddy and Ponappa made the cut into the men’s and women’s squads respectively for the Commonwealth Games after their top-place finish in the mixed doubles category.
The 14-year-old teenage sensation from Rohtak Unnati Hooda definitely caught selectors’ eyes as she secured a place for the Asian Games as well as Uber Cup by finishing third in the women’s singles after Kashyap and Ashmita Chaliha, who claimed first and second positions respectively. Hooda is the youngest Indian badminton player to be part of the Asian Games squad.
A 10-member women’s team for the Asian Games and Uber Cup will consist of PV Sindhu, Kashyap, Chaliha, Hooda alongside Top-3 doubles pairs from the trials—Treesa Jolly-Gayatri P, N Sikki Reddy-Ashwini Ponappa and Tanisha Crasto-Shruti Mishra.
Sindhu, Sen, Srikanth and men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj and Shetty were awarded direct entry into the squads for their world rankings inside Top-15. In-form shuttler HS Prannoy has also been included as part of automatic selection for his consistent impressive recent form at the international circuit.
Priyanshu Rajawat, who claimed the top spot in the men’s singles category, also made his way into the 10-men contingent for the Asian Games and Thomas Cup alongside Sen, Srikanth and Prannoy. The team also has Satwiksairaj and Shetty and the Top-2 doubles pairs from the trials—Dhruv Kapila-MR Arjun and Vishnu Vardhan Goud-Krishna Prasad Gariga.
“We are delighted with the energy of the selection trials. All the players gave everything on the court to earn themselves a chance to represent the country. It’s great to see high-quality competition for the positions. I congratulate all the players and wish them good luck for their preparations for mega events,” said Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of BAI, after the selection meeting that took place late on Wednesday night.
“This new format for the trials was developed to provide a platform where the senior as well as young players can have opportunities and now you can now see the squads are a great mix of youth and experience and am sure each of them will make the most of this opportunity and make India proud,” Mishra added.
The trials saw participation of 120 players in the five categories as the league-cum-round robin format tested the ability of the players in each stage from April 15-20.
Apart from the squads for the three major tournaments which are to be held this year, the BAI also finalised names of 40 players (20 men and 20 women) for the senior national coaching camp and core group for the 2024 Olympic Games, based on players’ positions in trials.
The 32nd edition of Thomas Cup and 29th Uber Cup are scheduled in Bangkok from May 8-15 while the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2022 Asian Games will kickstart in Birmingham and Hangzhou respectively from July 28 and September 10.
India’s badminton squads for major events in 2022:
Women: PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri Gopichand, Ashwini Ponnappa
Men: Lakshya Sen, Srikanth Kidambi, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, B Sumeeth Reddy
Asian Games and Thomas & Uber Cup (updated):
Women: PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha, Unnati Hooda, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri Gopichand, Tanisha Crasto and Shruti Mishra, Simran Singh and Ritika Thakkar
Men: Lakshya Sen, Srikanth Kidambi, HS Prannoy, Priyanshu Rajawat, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Dhruv Kapila, MR Arjun, Vishnu Vardhan Goud, Krishna Prasad Garaga
Update on Uber Cup:
Indian women’s doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponappa have withdrawn from the Uber Cup, BAI said in a statement on Friday.
“Sikki Reddy has suffered a Grade 2 Tear of the Abdomen (abdominus rectus) as confirmed by an MRI and has been advised 4-6 week rest by the doctor,” BAI General Secretary Sanjay Mishra said. “Under the circumstances the said pair has withdrawn from the Uber Cup as well as the upcoming BATC. And the selectors have decided to include Simran Singh and Ritika Thakkar in their place as they were fourth in the ranking and next in line during the selection trials.”