Saina to lead full-strength Indian badminton squad for 12th South Asian Games
World No.2 Saina Nehwal will spearhead India's campaign in women's singles while World No.9 Kidambi Srikanth will be highest-ranked Indian in men's singles as the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced a strong 15-member squad for the South Asian Games next month.
Apart from Saina and Srikanth, double World Championship bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu and 2014 Commonwealth Games (CWG) champion Parupalli Kashyap, H.S. Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa have also been named in the Indian squad, BAI president and Chairman of Games Technical Conduct Committee (GTCC) Akhilesh Das Gupta said.
The BAI chief said the SAG badminton event in Shillong would be a feast for the people of Meghalaya and the North East to see the famed shuttlers in action.
The team championship for men and women will be held on February 6 and 7. The semi-finals will be held on February 8 forenoon and finals in the evening.
He said the individual events, men's singles and doubles, women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles will be held on February 9 and 10. The medals ceremony will be held on the evening of February 10.
Eight men's teams and seven women's teams are participating in the team event.
This is the first time in the history of SAG that all participating nations are participating in the badminton event.
Pullela Gopichand, national chief coach, is expected to arrive on Feb 5 for inauguration of the 12th SAG.
Men's singles: Parupalli Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth, H.S. Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram;
Women's singles: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Ruthvika Shivani, P.C. Thulasi;
Men's doubles: Manu Atriumeeth Reddy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar;
Women's doubles: Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa, Sikki Reddy/K. Maneesha;
Coaches: Tan Kim Her, Vijaydeep Singh, Amrish Shinde, Ravikanth Singla.