Srikanth, Ashmita finish at top in BAI’s selection trials for Asian Games

HYDERABAD: Kidambi Srikanth and Ashmita Chaliha emerged winners in the men’s and women’s singles respectively at Badminton Association on Sunday.

Srikanth, the 2021 World Championship silver medallist, and Chaliha stamped their authorities as they remained unbeaten in their six matches during the four-day long trials.

Srikanth, who had topped group A with three wins, beat Siddhanth Gupta 21-13, 21-16 before notching up a 21-15, 21-14 win over Lakshya Sen in stage 2 of the trials on Sunday.

The former world number one had defeated national champion Mithun Manjunath 22-24, 21-13, 21-14 on Saturday.

While Srikanth topped stage 2, Lakshya was second in 1-4 ranking with his loss against the former being the only blot in an otherwise clean slate.

The Commonwealth Games champion had registered for wins to top group B. On Sunday, Lakshya saw off Manjunath 21-17, 21-8 before losing to Srikanth. He had beaten Gupta 21-17, 21-11 in his first match of stage 2 on Saturday.

With two losses and one win, Manjunath finished third in 1-4 ranking in stage 2.

In women’s singles, Chaliha and Anupama Upadhyaya grabbed the top two positions followed by Malvika Bansod stage 2, while Unnati Hooda lost all three matches to sign off at the fourth position.

According to the format, nine men’s singles players and eight women’s singles players had entered the trials for three spots each, while there are four entried each in men’s and mixed doubles and three in women’s doubles.

THe singles players were divided in two groups in Stage 1 with the top-two players in each group going to Stage 2.

The four players then faced off in a league format and the result of Stage 2 will be considered for final standings.

The selectors had also proposed to pick one pair each for men’s and women’s doubles and two mixed doubles combinations through a round-robin tournament format to decide the final standings.

Following the trials, Sai Pratheek K and Tanisha Crasto finished at the top, while Rohan Kapoor and N Sikki Reddy were at the second position in the final standings in mixed doubles.

In women’s doubles, Tanisha and Ashwini Ponnappa finished at the top after winning both their mathces.

Men’s pairing of Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun managed to sign off at the top, based on games won and lost following a three-way tie after two other pairs — Suraj Goala and Pruthvi Roy, and Krishna prasad and Vishnuvardhan Goud — also notched up two wins from three matches.

Top players HS Prannoy, former world champion PV Sindhu, reigning Asian champions Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and women’s doubles combination of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly were directly picked for the Asian Games based on their world ranking.

The Asian Games in Hangzhou, China is scheduled to be played from September 23 to October 8.

India had finished their campaign at the quarterfinals of both the men’s and women’s team events in the 2018 edition.


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