Badminton Asia Mixed Team C'ships 2023: Saina Nehwal called for team selection trials

The selection trials will be held on January 2 and 3 while the Championships will be held in Dubai from February 14 to 19.

ANIUpdated: Thursday, December 29, 2022, 12:58 PM IST
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Saina Nehwal | Photo: Twitter/ Saina Nehwal

New Delhi: Former World No.1 Saina Nehwal has been called for trials which will be held to select the 14-member Indian squad for the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships 2023.

The selection trials will be held on January 2 and 3 while the Championships will be held in Dubai from February 14 to 19.

Dip in form

London 2012 Olympic medalist Nehwal has not been in good form as of late, as she could not make it to the quarterfinals of 13 out of 14 tournaments in 2022, as per Olympics.com.

Nehwal's last tournament win on the BWF World Tour came back in 2019, when she clinched the Indonesia Masters title defeating Olympic gold medalist Carolina Marin in the final. She dropped out of the top 20 of BWF World Rankings for the first time in over nine years later that year.

Poor ranking

Since then, Indian badminton stars' rank has been falling. She is currently at number 31 in the current rankings. She will be competing against the upcoming stars Malvika Bansod and Aakarshi Kashyap for a place in the Indian squad for the Championships.

Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy and men's doubles pair of Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have earned direct entries in the competition due to their rankings.

Unanimously decision

"The members unanimously agreed that since it is a big competition with a limited number of entries, only BWF rankings from 16-50 should be considered for inviting players for the trials for the rest of the available spots," the Badminton Association of India (BAI) stated earlier this week.

In men's doubles MR Arjun-Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garga-Vishnuvardhan Goud P and Ishaan Bhatnagar/SAI Patheek K will be fighting for a place in the squad.

For two spots in women's doubles, Commonwealth Games bronze medalists Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand and experienced duo of Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy, Ashwini Bhatt-Shikha Gautam and Haritha Manazhiyil-Ashna Roy have also been called for trials.

The Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship 2023 will be the third edition of the tournament, which is a biennial affair. The 2021 edition was supposed to be held in Wuhan, China but was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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