Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth's woeful form continued, as he failed to top stage 2A in the BAI's selection trials for Commonwealth and Asian Games on Sunday. Praneeth, who is ranked 19th in the world, lost 21-23, 21-11, 16-21 to Kiran George, who had won the Odisha Open Super 100 title in January.
Having said that, he later beat Ansal Yadav 21-16, 21-9 to finish second best in the stage 2A group at the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex, Delhi. As per the format of the trials, the winners of the four groups in the second stage will compete for ranks one to four. The runners-up from each of these groups will vie for positions five to eight, and third-placed players will aim for nine to 12 positions.
That simply means Praneeth will now play five to eight classification matches. Apart from that, a few players had already made it to the team on the basis of their high ranking. This includes Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, PV Sindhu, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, and Chirag Shetty.
In all likelihood, Kiran looks like the player who will go on to fill one vacant spot in the men's singles team. He will now be competing against Sameer Verma (winner of stage 2D), Ravi (winner of stage 2C), and Priyanshu Rajawat (winner of stage 2B) for ranks one to four.
On the other hand, former world no.11 Sameer Verma beat Rahu M 21-12 21-11 but lost to Maisnam Meiraba 21-15, 19-21 11-21. Meanwhile, in the women's singles, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha, Aditi Bhatt, and Unnati Hooda emerged as winners of Stage 2A, stage 2B, and Stage 2C, and Stage 2D respectively. Malvika Bansod is out of contention for now as she lost to Chaliha and will compete for places five to eight.