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Asian Games 2018: BAI to host two senior tournaments to select Indian badminton contingent

Two events are to be organised, one in Bengaluru from June 12th to 17th, and the other in Hyderabad from June 19th to 24th.

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News 10 May 2018, 21:58 IST
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a prize money of Rs. 5 lakhs each would act as added incentive for the shuttlers
A prize money of Rs. 5 lakh each would act as an added incentive for the shuttlers (Representational Image)

What’s the story?

With the 2018 Asian Games around the corner, the Badminton Association of India has brought about a refreshing change.

Two events are to be organised, one in Bengaluru from June 12th to 17th, and the other in Hyderabad from June 19th to 24th, in order to encourage participation in the domestic circuit.

Not only would a selection for the Asian Games be on the cards, but a prize money of Rs. 5 lakhs each would act as an added incentive for the shuttlers.

In case you didn’t know

Previously, there was a lot of emphasis on world rankings when it came to selecting players to represent our country at world events like the Asian Games.

But, the BAI have decided that they would organise a five-member committee to review the selection criteria, according to sources.

The heart of the matter

India’s top badminton stars could make an exception and miss out on both the events. The list of these players include Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu (Women’s singles); K Srikanth, HS Prannoy, B Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma (Men’s singles); Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (Men’s doubles); Ashwini Ponnappa/N Sikki Reddy (Women’s doubles); and Satwik/Ponnappa and Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Sikki (Mixed doubles).

Anup Narang, the official spokesperson of BAI, explained the move to the media by stating, “These tournaments are being organised to give the selectors a chance to see the players in action head-to-head and give them for parameters to judge them rather than just their rankings.”
He clarified that, “What was happening earlier was there was a lot of confusion over the selection criteria for tournaments, so the BAI is considering hosting such selection tournaments for all future big international competitions.”

What’s next?

It is yet to be seen how the tournaments unfold and how the players fare in the head to head battles against their counterparts.

Author’s Take

The move is extremely vital to place emphasis on domestic tournaments which would intensify competition and improve our overall performance in international tournaments.

If the BAI looks to back their talk with actions, this would be a welcome change and help upcoming athletes cement their footing in the world arena.

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