Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi have been included in the Indian team for the prestigious Uber Cup. The young women’s doubles pair Ritika and Simran were rewarded for their impressive performances in the recently held national selection trials.
Maharashtra duo Ritika and Simran were not part of the original squad. That squad was announced by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Thursday after the completion of the six-day trials in New Delhi.
However, the talented pair of Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi were added to the national team on Friday due to a withdrawal from the Indian squad.
India’s top women’s doubles pair N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, who finished second in the trials, withdrew from the Uber Cup on Friday. The world No. 20 pair will also not take part in the Badminton Asia Team Championship due to injury to Sikki.
The national governing body of sports issued a statement on Friday regarding the addition of Ritika and Simran to the Indian squad. Sanjay Mishra, BAI General Secretary, issued a statement on Friday, stating:
“Sikki Reddy has suffered a Grade 2 Tear of Abdomen (abdominal rectus) as confirmed by an MRI and has been advised to rest for 4-6 weeks by the doctor. Under the circumstances, the said pair have withdrawn from the Uber Cup as well as the upcoming BATC. The selectors have decided to include Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker in their place as they were fourth in the rankings and next in line during the selection trials."
The newly-elected BAI General Secretary said Ritika and Simran will be the third women’s doubles pair in the Indian squad. Unbeaten in the selection trials, Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand and another promising combination, Tanisha Crasto-Shruti Mishra, are already on the team.
The Uber Cup format involves three singles and two doubles matches in a best-of-five-match contest.
Experienced southpaw Sikki will first miss the Asian Badminton Championship, starting in Manila on April 26.
Maiden Uber Cup for Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi
Getting rewarded for their hard work, Ritika and Simran got a shot in the arm by getting selected for the Uber Cup, to be held in Bangkok next month.
The reigning junior national champions Ritika and Simran have already represented the country in four junior Asian Badminton Championships and one World Junior Championships.
This is their first selection for the country in the senior category. Nagpur-based Ritika was ecstatic after her selection for the Uber Cup.
“I am very excited to be selected for this prestigious tournament and promise to give my best. I am also very happy to be with the likes of PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and all the other top players in India. It will be a great experience to be with them and train with them. I hope to learn a lot from these badminton stars of badminton."
Ritika and Simran will go for the Asian Badminton Championships in Manila before the Uber cup.
Ritika, who is a student at Hislop College, Nagpur, trains at Ajay Dayal Badminton Academy in the same city. She also undergoes training at the Suchitra Academy, Hyderabad.
She thanked her coaches at her academy, Nagpur District Badminton Association secretary Mangesh Kashikar, Maharashtra Badminton Association president Arun Lakhani and her college for their continuous support.
Ritika will be the fourth Nagpur player to represent the country at the Uber Cup after Arundhati Pantawane, Vaishnavi Bhale, and Malvika Bansod.