The 41st edition of the Badminton Asia Championships commenced on Tuesday with the qualification rounds in Ningbo, China. Five out of six Indians in action in the qualification rounds have made it to the main draw, which starts on Wednesday.

The continental event holds a special significance this year for Indians as it is the last qualification competition for the 2024 Paris Olympics cycle. The qualification list for the quadrennial event will be officially published on April 30.

With the Badminton Asia Championships being equivalent to a World Tour Super 1000 event, there is naturally a lot at stake for those still vying for their berth at the Paris Games.

Ponnappa-Crasto, Treesa-Gayatri in the spotlight

As far as India is concerned, the focus will be on the women’s doubles section where the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto are on the cusp of making it through to Paris, even though Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand are not completely out of the race either.

Both the Indian women’s doubles pairs will have their task cut out in Ningbo however.

Treesa and Gayatri, who desperately need a title win to upstage their compatriots in the Race to Paris Rankings, will open their campaign against the fourth seeds Liu Sheng Shu and Tan Ning of China.

Ponnappa and Crasto, meanwhile, have been handed a first-round bye after their higher-ranked first round opponents Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma and Amallia Cahaya Pratiwi of Indonesia pulled out of the event.

The world No 20 pair from India will then likely open their campaign against third seeds Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida of Japan in the second round.

Ponnappa and Crasto are entangled in an intense battle to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. They are currently placed 12th in the Race to Paris Rankings with 51,010 points behind France’s Margot Lambert and Anne Tran, who have 51,512 points.

Moreover, the Indian pair is also under immense pressure from the Bulgarian pair of Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva and the Danish duo of Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen, who are placed directly below them.

While the Stoeva sisters have 49,570 points and are ranked 13th, Fruergaard and Thygesen are 14th with 49,341 points. Both of them can leapfrog Ponnappa and Crasto if they perform well in the European Championships, which will be held at the same time as the Asian Championships.

Ponnappa and Crasto will also feel the heat from the two Chinese Taipei pairs – Hsu Ya Ching and Lin Wang Ching, Lee Chia Hsin and Teng Chun Hsun – who have 47,506 and 46,345 points respectively.

Even if one of the Chinese Taipei duo enjoys a good run in Ningbo, the Indian duo stand the risk of falling out of top 14 in the Race to Paris Rankings and missing out on qualification.

The 15th and 16th spot in the Race to Paris Rankings is expected to go to Australia’s Setyana Mapasa and Angela Yu and the United States’ Annie Xu-Kerry Xu as the continental quotas. Thus, the Indians need to be in top 14, if they are to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.

Treesa and Gayatri, with 44,964 points, are placed higher than the American and Australian pair, but they will have to leapfrog Ponnappa and Crasto in the rankings, because only one pair from a country can qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Treesa and Gayatri trail Ponnappa and Crasto by 6,046 points.

Race to Paris Standings

Position Pairs Country Points

Margot Lambert and Anne Tran



12 Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto India



Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva

Bulgaria 49,570

Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen

Denmark 49,341

Hsu Ya Ching and Lin Wang Ching

Chinese Taipei


Lee Chia Hsin and Teng Chun Hsun

Chinese Taipei 46,345
Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand India 44,964

Setyana Mapasa and Angela Yu

Australia 43,250

Annie Xu and Kerry Xu

United States of America 40,827

The women’s doubles event will also see the Panda sisters, Rutaparna and Swetaparna, and the team of Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker, having topped their respective groups in the qualification round robin stage.

PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy in action

In the women’s singles event, PV Sindhu, who has already secured her spot at the Paris Olympics, will start off her campaign against Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei.

Sindhu will have Aakarshi Kashyap, who will face Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the first round, for company, before likely going up against world No 1 An Se Young.

Malvika Bansod, who topped the women’s singles Group B in the qualification round, will also be in action in the main draw.

In the men’s singles event, HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen – both of whom are locked in for the Olympics – will lead the Indian charge.

Sen, though, will have his task cut out as he is slated to face the top seed and home favourite Shi Yu Qi in the first round. Prannoy, who is the seventh seed, will start off against another Chinese shuttler in Lu Guang Zu.

Priyanshu Rajawat and Kidambi Srikanth will also be in action for India in the men’s singles main draw.

Satwik-Chirag withdraw

The men’s doubles event, where India has had most of its badminton success lately, will be without Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. They have withdrawn from the competition as a precautionary measure, citing a minor shoulder injury to Rankireddy.

Rankireddy and Shetty, who are the reigning Asian Champions, having won the title last year in Dubai, are now expected to be in action during India’s title defence at the 2024 Thomas Cup later this month.

In Rankireddy and Shetty’s absence, the Indian challenge in men’s doubles main draw will be led by Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun and the duo of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Sai Pratheek. Group A qualification round winners Hariharan Amsakarunan and Ruban Rethinasabapathi will also be competing.

India’s only representation in the mixed doubles event will be the pair of Sathish Karunakaran and Aadya Variyath, who won Group A in the qualification round.

Indians in main draw

Men’s Singles: HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Priyanshu Rajawat

Women’s Singles: PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod

Men’s Doubles: Arjun MR-Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garaga-Sai Pratheek, Hariharan Amsakarunan-Ruban Rethinasabapathi

Women’s Doubles: Ashwini Ponnappa-Tanisha Crasto, Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand, Rutaparna Panda-Swetaparna Panda, Simran Singhi-Ritika Thaker

Mixed Doubles: Sathish Karunakaran-Aadya Variyath

The 2024 Badminton Asia Championships will be LIVE streamed on YouTube.