New Delhi: After a stellar 2017, Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu and world no 3 Kidambi Srikanth will lead the respective Indian men’s and women’s contingent at the Asian Team Championships to be held in Malaysia from February 6 to 11.
It was a heart-breaking for the men’s team in 2016 when they lost to eventual champions Indonesia in the semi-finals at Hyderabad, while the women’s team suffered a quarter-finals exit after defeats at the hands of South Korea.
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) hence has decided to send a formidable line-up for this year’s edition at Alor Setar, which will also serve as a qualification tournament for the Thomas and Uber Cups finals.
“After a very successful 2017 for Indian badminton on the world circuit, we want to start off 2018 by displaying our dominance in the Asian Badminton Team Championships,” said BAI General Secretary, Anup Narang.
“We were unfortunate to lose out in the knockout stages and with the current team we are confident of a good show and a podium finish,” he added.
The only Indian to win four Super Series titles in a single year Kidambi Srikanth will lead the men’s singles charge in a team that will also have the likes of HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and B Sai Praneeth who have all time and again proved their mettle against the world’s best shuttlers.
In the women’s singles category, Sindhu will take charge along with London Games bronze medallist Saina Nehwal. The team will also comprise of Krishna Priya and Ruthvika Gaade.
The doubles contingent in the men’s category will be lead by the duo of Satwik Sairaj and Chirag Shetty, and also have world no. 32 Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy and Shlok Ramachandran and M R Arjun, while Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki Reddy will take up the baton in the women’s doubles section and will be backed up by Prajakta Sawant and Sanyogita and Rituparna Das and Mithila U K.
Among the other countries China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Chinese Taipei will all be competing in the men’s event.
Vietnam will compete only in the women’s team event while Kazakhstan, Myanmar and Nepal will not have a team in the women’s category.
The Asian Championships will be decided on three singles and two doubles in both the men’s and women’s categories, while the top four semi-finalists in both the men’s and women’s categories will qualify for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Finals to be held in Bangkok from May 20-27, said a report by the Press Trust of India.
Sai Praneeth, Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy out of Malaysian Masters
Indian shuttlers B Sai Praneeth and the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy bowed out of the Malaysia Masters badminton after suffering defeats at the pre-quarterfinals on Thursday.
While Praneeth lost to top seeded Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 17 -21, 8-21, the women’s doubles pair of Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy went down to Denmark’s Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen 15-21, 15-21.