Badminton Asia Championships 2018: Kidambi Srikanth gets top seeding, PV Sindhu seeded third
What's the story?
Kidambi Srikanth has been allotted the number 1 seed while PV Sindhu has been seeded third at the Badminton Asia Championships, scheduled to be held at Wuhan, China from April 24. Both of them are looking to win the continental championships for the first time.
Former Asian Championships semi-finalist Saina Nehwal has missed out on a top-8 seeding due to a slide in the rankings.
In case you didn't know...
In 2017, Srikanth became just the fourth player to win 4 Superseries titles in one year when he beat Japan's Kenta Nishimoto in the final of the French Open Superseries. Kidambi also won Indonesia, Australia, and Denmark Open Superseries on his way to a career-best ranking of 2nd.
The heart of the matter
Kidambi Srikanth has been seeded ahead of South Korean Son Wan Ho, who is expected to provide the toughest competition to the Indian shuttler.
Srikanth was defeated by Son in the quarter-finals of the BWF World Championships last August. He will be keen on getting revenge on Ho and continue what has been a good past 12 months for him by winning the top prize at the Championships.
While Sindhu doesn't enter the tournament as the favourite, she is still India's best hope in the women's singles category. World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying has got the top billing in that section.
Other notable Indians in the fray are HS Prannoy, B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma in the men's singles category.
There is plenty of Indian representation in the doubles categories as well. The pairs of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty, Manu Attri-B Sumeeth Reddy and Arjun MR-Shlok Ramchandran will be vying for a medal in men's doubles. In the women's doubles category, Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram are there along with the pair of Aparna Balan and Sruthi KP. National mixed doubles champions Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa is the only Indian pair in the main draw of mixed doubles.
Sikki Reddy is a notable absentee in both the women's doubles and the mixed doubles sections.
The draw for the Badminton Asia Championships 2018 will take place on April 3, where the Indian shuttlers will know their opposition. Irrespective of the result of the draw, there are pretty high hopes from both Srikanth and Sindhu.
A stellar 2017 season has ensured that Srikanth enters the competition as the favourite, although he will have to face tough opposition along the way. Sindhu too will hope to translate the confidence she gained from reaching the semi-finals of the All England Open into a big win at the continental championships.