Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist PV Sindhu will skip the forthcoming Sudirman Cup as well as the Thomas and Uber Cup.
Sindhu, who became the only Indian woman to win back-to-back medals at the Olympic Games, has decided not to compete in the mixed team championship Sudirman Cup.
26-year-old PV Sindhu will also not be part of the Indian team for the Uber Cup. Sindhu’s absence for the prestigious twin tournaments will certainly hamper India’s chances. Due to Sindhu not playing both tournaments, newcomers like Malvika Bansod and Aditi Bhatt will get their chances to play at the highest level.
In the absence of Sindhu, star Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth will spearhead women’s and men’s teams respectively.
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has announced on Sunday strong squads for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, scheduled in Denmark from October 9 to 17. Sindhu has not been in regular practice these days due to too many felicitation functions after her historic second Olympic medal.
Sindhu is aiming to increase the intensity of her fitness and training in a couple of months. Sindhu will aim for glory in the World Championship to be played later in the year.
In the absence of Sindhu, Saina Nehwal to spearhead Indian team in Uber Cup
BAI has also named a 12-member Indian team for the Sudirman Cup, which is slated to take place from September 26 to October 3 in Finland.
For the Thomas and Uber Cup, Saina Nehwal will be accompanied by top-3 singles ranks from the selection trials -- Malvika Bansod, Aditi Bhatt and Tasnim Mir. The young trio will be part of the 10-member women’s team alongside three doubles pairs, including Tanisha Crasto and Rutuparna Panda, who claimed the top spot in the trials.
The 10-member men’s team also comprised four singles players and three doubles pairs. Alongside Praneeth and former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, top-2 singles players from the trials -- Kiran George and Sameer Verma -- have received places on the team.
The country’s top men’s doubles pair Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have been selected from the team alongside top-2 ranked pairs from the trials.
The five-day selection trials were conducted by the BAI at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad from August 27 to September 1.
The players, for the Thomas and Uber Cup and the Sudirman Cup, were selected on the basis of their performances in the recently-concluded trials. Apart from the automatic selections of the players/pairs, who are placed inside the Top-20 in the world rankings.
Sindhu requested not to consider her for selection, says BAI
Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu has not been included in the squad as she had requested not to consider herself for the selections citing post Olympic recovery.
“Other than the top-ranked Indians, we have selected players on the basis of their consistent showing in the trials. In the absence of any tournaments, the trials and the new format helped us to zero in on the current in-form players as they have proved their abilities and have earned top rankings in the trials. I believe these youngsters along with the senior shuttlers will create a good combination and all the new faces will also get much-needed experience of playing top-tier tournaments like the Thomas and Uber Cup as well as the Sudirman Cup. On behalf of BAI, I wish all the players the best of luck for both the events,” BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said.
The Indian team has been placed in Group C alongside defending champions China, with the Netherlands and Tahiti being the other two teams in the group for the Thomas Cup. Meanwhile, the women's team has been drawn into Group B along with Thailand, Spain and Scotland in the Uber Cup.
On the other hand, in the 12-member team for the 17th edition of the Sudirman Cup, the top-ranked doubles pair from the trials Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun have been named in the squad alongside Srikanth, Praneeth and doubles pair Satwiksairaj and Chirag, who made into the team in the world rankings.
Among the women, Top-2 doubles pairs from the trials, Tanisha-Rutuparna and Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy have been selected alongside Top-2 singles from the trials Bansod and Bhatt.
The biennial tournament will see the Indian team competing alongside defending champions China and Thailand and hosts Finland in Group A.
INDIAN BADMINTON SQUAD
B Sai Praneeth
N Sikki Reddy
B Sai Praneeth
Krishna Prasad Garaga
Vishnu Vardhan Goud
N Sikki Reddy
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