There were not too many surprises from the selection trials to complete India’s badminton squad for Asian Games at Hanghzhou later this year as Srikanth Kidambi, Lakshya Sen, Ashmita Chaliha and Tanisha Crasto impressed.
Current India No 1 in singles HS Prannoy and double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu along with men’s doubles pairing Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, women’s doubles pair Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand were already the direct entries for the squad.
For the remainder of the slots, to compete in the two team events and across the five individual disciplines, Badminton Association of India conducted trials at the Jwala Gutta Academy in Hyderabad from May 4-7, 2023.
Later on Sunday, the selectors announced a 19-member squad for the continental event.
India’s final Asian Games squad:
Men’s singles: HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth (Individual+Team), Lakshya Sen, Mithun Manjunath (Team)
Women’s singles: PV Sindhu, Ashmita Chaliha (Individual+Team), Anupama Upadhyaya, Malvika Bansod (Team)
Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun (Individual+Team)
Women’s doubles: Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly, Ashwini Ponnappa /Tanisha Crasto (Individual+Team)
Mixed doubles: Rohan Kapoor /N Sikki Reddy, Sai Pratheek K/Tanisha Crasto (Individual+Team)— via BAI Media
According to the selection trials format announced by the Badminton Association of India, three men’s and women’s singles spots along with one each in men’s and women’s doubles and two in mixed doubles were up for grabs from the trials with the top ranked singles players also getting an opportunity to compete in the individual events to be played after the team championship.
Both Srikanth and Ashmita won all there three matches in Stage 2 to assure themselves of a berth in the individual events.
2021 world championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen and national champion Mithun Manjunath will complete the men’s singles lineup in the team championship while Anupama Upadhyaya and Malvika Bansod will be the other singles players in the women’s team event.
The men’s doubles category was the most keenly fought contest with world no. 23 Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun, Krishna Prasad G/Vishnuvardhan Goud P and the new pairing of Suraj Goala and Pruthvi Roy K finishing with two wins each. Kapila and Arjun made the squad on a better game difference.
The postponed Asian Games is to be held in Hangzhou, China from 23 September 2023 to 8 October 2023.
There were no major surprises in the final standings but recent Orleans Masters winner Priyanshu Rajawat would be disappointed at not making the second stage, finishing outside the top four. In women’s singles, while Malvika Bansod started strongly in the opening stage, Chaliha finished stronger. National champion Anupama also impressed. Top seed Aakarshi Kashyap, however, didn’t make it to the second stage in another somewhat surprising result. Youngster Unnati Hooda didn’t win a match in the final stage but once again showed why she is a bright prospect.
In the doubles categories, Crasto was solid as expected in both WD and XD and topped both categories despite the absence of her regular pair in mixed (Ishaan Bhatnagar is injured).
A final confirmation from BAI on the full squad is awaited.
Here are final standings in each of the five categories (via Tournament Software):
More details on how the trials unfolded over the last three days in this Twitter thread.