Srikanth, Chaliha top BAI’s selection trials, make it to individual events of Asian Games

Hyderabad, May 7 (PTI) Kidambi Srikanth and Ashmita Chaliha on Sunday topped the men’s and women’s singles selection trials respectively to assure themselves a place in the individual event of the Asian Games.

Srikanth, the 2021 World Championship silver medallist, and Chaliha remained unbeaten in their six matches during the four-day long trials at the Jwala Gutta Badminton Academy here to join PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy for the individual competitions as the selectors named a 19-member squad for the continental event.

Srikanth, who had topped group A with three wins, beat Siddhanth Gupta 21-13 21-16 before notching up a 21-15 21-14 win over Lakshya Sen in stage 2 of the trials on Sunday.

The former world number one had defeated national champion Mithun Manjunath 22-24 21-13 21-14 on Saturday.

While Srikanth topped stage 2, Lakshya was second in 1-4 ranking with his loss against the former being the only blot in an otherwise clean slate.

The Commonwealth Games champion had registered four wins to top group B. On Sunday, Lakshya saw off Manjunath 21-17 21-8 before losing to Srikanth. He had beaten Gupta 21-17 21-11 in his first match of stage 2 on Saturday.

With two losses and one win, Manjunath finished third in 1-4 ranking in stage 2.

Lakshya and Manjunath will thus complete the men’s singles lineup in the team championship.

In women’s singles, Chaliha and Anupama Upadhyaya grabbed the top two positions followed by Malvika Bansod in stage 2, while Unnati Hooda lost all three matches to sign off at the fourth position.

Anupama Upadhyaya and Malvika thus will be the other singles players in the women’s team event.

According to the format, nine men’s singles players and eight women’s singles players had entered the trials for three spots each, while there are four entries each in men’s and mixed doubles and three in women’s doubles.

The singles players were divided in two groups in stage 1 with the top-two players in each group going to stage 2.

The four players then faced off in a league format and the result of stage 2 will be considered for final standings.

The selectors had also proposed to pick one pair each for men’s and women’s doubles and two mixed doubles combinations through a round-robin tournament format to decide the final standings.

Following the trials, Sai Pratheek K and Tanisha Crasto finished at the top, while Rohan Kapoor and N Sikki Reddy were at the second position in the final standings in mixed doubles.

The world No 23 men’s pairing of Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun managed to sign off at the top, based on games won and lost following a three-way tie after two other pairs — Suraj Goala and Pruthvi Roy, and Krishna prasad and Vishnuvardhan Goud — also notched up two wins from three matches.

Dhruv-Arjun will join the newly-crowned Asian champions Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in the team, while Tanisha and Ashwini Ponnappa finished at the top after winning both their matches and will be the other women’s doubles pair in the team, apart from the combination of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly.

The Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, are scheduled to be played from September 23-October 8.

India had finished their campaign at the quarterfinals of both the men’s and women’s team events in the 2018 edition.

India squad: Men’s singles: HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth (Individual/Team), Lakshya Sen, Mithun Manjunath (Team) Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun (Individual/Team) Women’s singles: PV Sindhu, Ashmita Chaliha (Individual/Team), Anupama Upadhyaya, Malvika Bansod (Team) Doubles (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.

Source: PTI News


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