Saina Nehwal to skip Asian Games trials due to injury concerns
India's star badminton player Saina Nehwal is continuing to struggle with injuries, one after another, for the past few years, which has forced her out of many competitions. This time around, the former world no.1 won't be able to participate at the Asian Games trials from May 4.
"Saina Nehwal will not be participating as she has some fitness issues. Also, the men's pair of Kushal Raj and Prakash Raj has withdrawn from the trials," BAI secretary Sanjay Mishra told PTI. "However, the rest of the players who were invited for the trials will be competing this week for the spots."
Saina missed the tryouts for the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships in January due to ongoing ailments. She was also absent from the Commonwealth Games trials the previous year. Meanwhile, For the Asian Games, BAI had directly chosen double Olympic medalist PV Sindhu (World No. 11), HS Prannoy (World No. 9), men's team Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (World No. 6), and women's team Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand (World No. 19), "based on their placing in the BWF Top 20 ranking list as of April 18".
The national federation released a list of athletes for the Asian Games trials on April 22 and set a confirmation deadline on April 28. The nine men's singles competitors who will compete in the trials include Kidambi Srikanth, the World No. 23, who won the silver and bronze medals at the World Championships, Lakshya Sen, the World No. 24, who won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, Priyanshu Rajawat, the national champion Mithun Manjunath, and Tokyo Olympian B Sai Praneeth.
Women's singles shuttlers participating in the trials are Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod, Ashmita Chaliha, and Unnati Hooda. Men's and women's singles will each have up to three players chosen, while two mixed doubles pairs, one men's doubles and one women's doubles pair, and one men's doubles and one women's doubles pair will all be chosen based on the trials.
List of Players for Asian Games 2023 selection trials:
Men's Singles: Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Priyanshu Rajawat, Mithun Manjunath, Sai Praneeth, Maisnam Meiraba, Bharat Raghav, Ansal Yadav, Siddhant Gupta
Women's Singles: Aakrshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod, Ashmita Chaliha, Aditi Bhat, Unnati Hooda, Alisha Naik, Shriyanshi Valishetty, Anupama Upadhyay
Men's Doubles: MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad/Vishuvardhan, Suraj Goala/Pruthvi Roy, Nithin HV/Sai Pratheek.
Women's Doubles: Ashwini Bhat/Shikha Gautham, Tanisha Crasto/Ashwini Ponnappa, Radhika Sharma/Tanvi Sharma Mixed Doubles: Rohan Kapoor/Sikki Reddy, Sai Pratheek/Tanisha Crasto, Hariharan/Varshini, Hemagendra Babu/Kanika Kanwal.