Badminton News: Breaking into the top 16 will be the focus when Indian badminton players take part in the Malaysia Masters BWF Super 500 tournament which kicks off in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Only four Indian representatives namely PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and the scene looks no different this time around.
The Olympic qualifying period begins with the Sudirman Cup and will end on April 28, 2024. For top badminton countries like India, two singles players in the world top 16 on April 28, 2024 and two doubles teams in the top 8 will win tickets. in Paris.
To date, only PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy are in the top 16 and Satwik-Chirag in the top 8 of the Race to Paris.
The second highest ranked Indian player after Prannoy is world number 22 Lakshya Sen and 23rd Kidambi Srikanth. Prannoy, ranked No. 7 will need to do well in at least 10 tournaments until April 28 to protect his ranking while Lakshya and Srikanth will try to score maximum points in one of the 10 tournaments to enter the top 16.
As only two players from each NOC will be allowed in, if they are in the last 16 it will be a tight competition between the three as Prannoy will also have to defend the points scores he has earned in recent months.
It might not be too difficult for Sindhu who is ranked 11th. The double Olympic medalist needed several quarter-finals and semi-finals and he managed to reach them.
After Sindhu, the other Indian players in the ranking are Saina Nehwal (#36), Aakarshi Kashyap (#39) and Malvika Bansod (#40). Only very strong performances over the next 11 months will help them break into the last 16.
With Saina missing the Malaysia Masters and several other tournaments before that, it will be very difficult for India’s first badminton medalist to qualify. Aakarshi and Malvika need to punch above their weight to climb the ranks of the world rankings.
Satwik-Chirag, who was unlucky to lose an Olympic medal last time out, is seen as a surefire qualifier for the quadrennial event. They are the only team to finally beat the gold medalists in Tokyo and are India’s top performers by far.
MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila are now ranked 23rd and must climb 15 rungs to keep any hope of making the trip to Paris. But it seems quite difficult because the top 10 is filled with the most successful teams.
MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila are now ranked 23rd and must climb 15 rungs to hope to make the trip to Paris. But it looks quite difficult because the top 8 is full of talented teams.
The women’s doubles team of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand is ranked No. 15 and can qualify for the Olympics if they manage to win a few tournaments and do well in the rest of the competitions.
Keywords: India, Lakshya Sen, kidambi srikanth, Paris 2024 Olympics
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