India’s top four singles players have qualified for the 2018 badminton world championships to be held in Nanjing, China, in July, in lieu of their ranking points accumulated as of Thursday.

Medal-winners from the previous edition in Glasgow, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, have both made the first list of qualifiers as have K Srikanth and HS Prannoy. B Sai Praneeth is the third Indian men’s singles player to have qualified so far.

In the doubles categories, two pairs have made the list in each of the categories. Commonwealth Games silver medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, alongside last year’s national champions B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri, will feature in the men’s doubles category.

One of the stars of India’s campaign at Gold Coast, Ashwini Ponnappa has made the list in both women’s doubles (where she’ll partner Sikki Reddy) and mixed doubles (along with Satwiksairaj). Poorvisha S Ram and J Meghana qualified as the second-best ranked Indian pair in women’s doubles. Sikki and Pranaav Jerry Chopra also made the cut as the best-ranked mixed doubles pair from India.

Defending champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark heads the qualifiers in men’s singles, while two of his compatriots, Anders Antonsen and Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, have also made it to Nanjing comfortably. Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long and five-time world champion Lin Dan, both of China, are in the top eight, along with compatriot Shi Yuqi.

Other prominent men’s singles players booking their flights to Nanjing are: South Korea’s Son Wan Ho, Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei), Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), and Ng Ka Long (Hong Kong).

In women’s singles, Japan’s Sayaka Sato has edged out compatriot Aya Ohori by just over 4,100 points. Sato is the third Japanese behind newly-crowned world No 1 Akane Yamaguchi and defending champion Nozomi Okuhara.

Apart from Japan, China (Chen Yufei, He Bingjiao and Chen Xiaoxin) and Thailand (Ratchanok Intanon, Nitchaon Jindapol and Pornpawee Chochuwong) both have three players in women’s singles.

Other well-known names to qualify include Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, Spain’s Carolina Marin, and Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun.

One of men’s singles brightest talents – Kento Momota – is also back in badminton’s elite group as the 23-year-old made the cut, having risen to No 17 in the Race to Nanjing rankings. The former world No 2 player, who missed over a year of competitive badminton after a suspension for illegal gambling before resuming his career last July, has earned his place behind compatriots Kenta Nishimoto and Kazumasa Sakai.

A member association (MA) is allowed to field four players or pairs in a category if all four are ranked within the top eight, or three players if they are ranked in the top 24, or two players if they are ranked in the top 150.

No country has managed to qualify four players or pairs in any category.

Member associations will be informed by May 17 of the players/pairs who are eligible to qualify under phase two and that could see a few more Indian players make the cut.

The BWF World Championships will be held in Nanjing from July 30 to August 5, 2018.

Full list of Indian players to have qualified as of April 27, 2018:

Category Players
Men's singles K Srikanth, HS Prannoy, B Sai Praneeth
Women's singles PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal
Men's doubles Satwiksairaj - Chirag Shetty, Manu Attri - B Sumeeth Reddy
Women's doubles  Sikki Reddy - Ashwini Ponnappa, Meghana Jakkampudi - Poorvisha S Ram
Mixed doubles Pranaav Jerry Chopra - Sikki Reddy, Ashwini Ponnappa - Satwiksairaj