Olympic 2012 bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will miss the upcoming Asian Games trials because of fitness issues. It was recently confirmed that the Badminton Association of India (BAI) will be conducting the trials from May 4 to 7 at Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence in Telangana. The marquee tournament is set to take place in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.
“Saina Nehwal will not be participating as she has some fitness issues. Also, the men’s pair of Kushal Raj and Prakash Raj has also withdrawn from the trials,” Badminton Association of India (BAI) Secretary Sanjay Mishra told PTI. World number 11 PV Sindhu, world number 9 HS Prannoy, world number 6 men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, and the world number 19 women’s doubles pair of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly have directly qualified for the Asia Cup because of their rankings as of April 18.
The former world number one has taken part in only three BWF tournaments this year (Malaysian Open, India Open, and Orleans Masters) and had withdrawn from many tournaments at the last minute in the recent past. Three players will be selected for men’s singles and women’s singles, while two mixed doubles pairs and one men’s doubles and one women’s doubles pair will be picked from the trials.
It is to be noted that PV Sindhu defeated Akane Yamaguchi to reach the final of women’s singles badminton at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta. Sindhu lost 13-21, 16-21 to Tai Tzu Ying in the summit clash but made history as no Indian had ever reached the final of the event before. Saina Nehwal however clinched a bronze as she lost to Tai Tzu Ying in the semifinals.
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.