BAI Selection Trials: B Sai Praneeth out of contention for Asian Games and Commonwealth Games
Top commuter B Sai Praneeth’s hopes of making India’s squad for the upcoming major team events have been dashed after he failed to top the Stage 2A group on Day 3 of the BAI selection trials here on Sunday. Praneeth, ranked world number 19, suffered a 21-23 21-11 16-21 loss to the fast-rising Kiran George, who won the Odisha Open Super 100 title in January. Later in the day, Praneeth beat Ansal Yadav 21-16 21-9 to finish second in the Stage 2A group at KD Jadhav Hall inside the Indira Gandhi Stadium complex.
Trials are held to choose teams for the Commonwealth Games, Thomas and Uber Cup and Asian Games.
Depending on the format, only the winners of the four Stage Two groups will compete for ranks 1-4 in a round-robin format, while the runners-up from each group will battle for positions 5-8 and third-placed players. . will target 9 to 12 positions.
Praneeth will then compete for ranks 5-8.
The Badminton Association of India has already awarded direct selection to Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth as they are ranked in the top 15 and HS Prannoy based on his recent performances on the international circuit.
Only one player from the men’s singles will be selected from the selections for the Asian Games and the Thomas Cup.
Kiran, who joined the squad for the Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup after dominating the selection trials in September last year, appears to be a favorite to be selected again as he continued his unbeaten run on the third day.
A product of Prakash Padukone academy, George beat national champion Sourabh Varma 21-15 23-21 in his second match of the Stage 2A group to emerge victorious.
George will now compete with Sameer Verma (Winner of Stage 2D), Haryana’s Ravi (Winner of Stage 2C) and Priyanshu Rajawat (Winner of Stage 2B) for Ranks 1-4.
A former world number 11 Sameer, who is making a comeback after recovering from a calf injury, beat Raghu M 21-12 21-11 but lost to Maisnam Meiraba 21-15 19-21 11-21 in the third and last game of his group. Sameer was tied with Mithun Manjunath with two wins and one loss, but managed based on the difference of games won and lost.
Ditto for Priyanshu, who emerged as the group winner after finishing with two wins and one loss as Kartikey Gulshan Kumar in Stage 2B.
Ravi, meanwhile, beat Alap Mishra and Arjun Rehani to become the stage 2C group winner.
In Women’s Singles, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha, Aditi Bhatt and Unnati Hooda won Stage 2A, Stage 2B, Stage 2C and Stage 2D respectively and will battle for 1-4 positions.
In women’s singles, two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu earned a direct spot as world No. 7 and another player will be chosen for the CWG team, while three positions are up for grabs for the Uber Cup and Asian Games.
Malvika Bansod, who beat Saina Nehwal at the Indian Open, was also out of contention for a spot following her loss to Ashmita and will now compete for ranks 5-8. PTI ATK BS BS
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