Tuesday, June 18, 2024

PV Sindhu, Satwik-Chirag pair get first-round bye in BWF World Championships

NEW DELHI, August 10: PV Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, and men’s doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were given first-round byes in the BWF World Championships 2023 draw in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
This year’s BWF World Championships will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from August 21 to 27.
Sindhu, who won the women’s singles world title in 2019, has been given a difficult draw, and she may play Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon and Korea’s top seed An Se Young, who are all clubbed in the top half of the draw.
Sindhu is the lone Indian competing in the women’s singles.
Satwik and Chirag, the World Championships bronze medallists in men’s doubles, attained a career-high world no.2 ranking last month after winning the Korea Open and are in top form.
India’s men’s singles campaign will be led by in-form HS Prannoy, who is seeded second. He will compete against Kalle Koljonen of Finland.
Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth, the other Indians competing in men’s singles, will face Mauritius’ Georges Julien Paul and Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in the first round.
Prannoy has been India’s best consistent singles player over the last year, and he is presently ranked ninth in the world. He won the Malaysia Masters in May before finishing runner-up in the Australian Open last week.
In women’s doubles, India have fielded two pairs. While the duo of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand received a first-round bye, Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam will be up against Debora Jille and Cheryl Seinen of the Netherlands.
Rohan Kapoor and N Sikki Reddy will take on the Scottish pair of Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson in the opening round of mixed doubles, while the other Indian combination of Venkat Prasad and Juhi Dewangan will face Jones Ralfy Jansen and Linda Efler of Germany in their campaign opener.
While 64 shuttlers will compete in men’s singles, 48 will feature in women’s singles. Besides, there are 46 teams each in the three doubles events with the 16 highest-ranked players on the latest world ranking receiving seedings in all the five categories.
Four Indians will be in singles competition, while six pairs will be in doubles action in the 28th edition of the tournament.
Sindhu is the only Indian to have won the World Championships crown so far, having clinched the title in 2019. She also has two silver and as many bronze medals to her name in the tournament.
Besides Sindhu, former Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal has won two World Championships medals — a silver in 2015 and bronze in 2017.
Former world no. 1 Srikanth also won a silver in 2021.
The other Indian shuttlers to have bagged medals in the global event are Lakshya Sen, B Sai Praneeth and the Ashwini Ponnappa-Jwala Gutta pair, all winning bronze medals.
India have so far bagged 13 medals in the BWF World Championships.
(ToI With PTI inputs)