Badminton Association of India select 20-member squad for Asian Games.

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Badminton Association of India select 20-member squad for Asian Games.

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SportsCafe Desk

06/28/2018

The Badminton Association of India has picked 20 members, 10 men and women for the upcoming Asian Games, of which seven members got selected following their qualification tournaments performance. General Secretary Ajay Singhania sounded optimistic with the blend of youth and experience in the squad.

Top international players like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, K Srikanth and HS Prannoy were exempted from the two ranking tournaments that were held in Bengaluru and Hyderabad which was the basis for team selection. In the squad announced on Wednesday, youngsters Gayatri Gopichand and Aakarshi Kashyap were among the players who were selected from Badminton trials as five others made it to the squad after their performances in selection tournaments.

Among the seven, Sourabh Verma, who won the tournament in Banglore and reached the final in Hyderabad, took the fifth spot for singles after automatic selections of Srikanth, Prannoy, Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma. Sai Uttejitha Rao and Ashmita Chaliha, who won the titles in Banglore and Hyderabad respectively, were selected along with Gopichand and Kashyap, who were semi-finalists in Hyderabad in the women’s singles spot. Sindhu and Saina were automatic selections.

Rutaparna Panda and Arathi Sara Sunil, who lost in the semis in Hyderabad and won the title in Banglore, were selected for women’s doubles along with established women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy in the squad. Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy were automatic picks for two men’s doubles pairs in the team. Satwik and Ashwini, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy will make up mixed- doubles teams. 

According to a BAI press release, selectors kept in mind the consistency and fitness of the players over six months period, as well report of coaches from the training camps and competitions.

“To keep the selection process fair and transparent, certain criteria were set by the selection panel with key being the points earned by each player from the two qualification domestic tournaments. Wherever the scores of two players were same, their head-to-head performances were considered before finalizing the names.” said BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma.

BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania seemed confident with the mix of youth and experience in the squad selected and was optimistic about India’s performance in upcoming games.

“We have put together a very strong team and are very optimistic of our chances in the Asian Games.The mix of youth and experience for sure will work wonders for us in team and individual events in Jakarta and hopefully will return with our best ever performance in Asiad.” said Singhania.

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