India’s Badminton Association has announced a 19-member squad for the upcoming Asian Games, which includes former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth and left-hander Ashmita Chaliha, who topped the men’s and women’s singles trials respectively at the Jwala Gutta Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. The selection trials format announced by the Badminton Association of India offered three men’s and women’s singles spots, one each in men’s and women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles from the trials. The top-ranked singles players also have the opportunity to compete in the individual events to be played after the team championship.
Both Srikanth and Chaliha won all three matches in Stage 2 to secure their berths in the individual events. Along with HS Prannoy, national champion Mithun Manjunath and world championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen will complete the men’s singles lineup in the team championship, while Anupama Upadhyaya and Malvika Bansod will be the other singles players in the women’s team event.
The men’s doubles category was the most hotly contested, with world No. 23 Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun, Krishna Prasad G/Vishnuvardhan Goud P and the new pairing of Suraj Goala and Pruthvi Roy K finishing with two wins each. Kapila and Arjun made the squad on a better game difference.
The experienced Ashwini Ponnappa and the up-and-coming Tanisha Crasto will be the second women’s doubles combination behind Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly. Crasto will also be playing the mixed doubles events alongside Sai Pratheek K, while Rohan Kapoor and N Sikki Reddy will be the second mixed doubles entry for India.
The India squad for the Asian Games includes:
Men’s singles: HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth (Individual/Team), Lakshya Sen, Mithun Manjunath (Team)
Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun (Individual/Team)
Women’s singles: PV Sindhu, Ashmita Chaliha (Individual/Team), Anupama Upadhyaya, Malvika Bansod (Team)
Women’s doubles: Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly, Ashwini Ponnappa/Tanisha Crasto (Individual/Team)
Mixed doubles: Rohan Kapoor/N Sikki Reddy, Sai Pratheek K/Tanisha Crasto.