Aakarshi, Priyanshu emerge winners in singles; Ashwini-Sumeeth win mixed doubles

Aakarshi Kashyap and Priyanshu Rajawat are set to be picked for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games respectively after emerging as winners in women’s and men’s singles at Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) selection trials on Wednesday.

While Aakarshi prevailed over Ashmita Chaliha 21-10, 17-21, 21-15, Priyanshu saw off Odisha Open winner Kiran George 21-15, 18-21, 21-10 to top the rankings at the national trials at the IG Stadium Complex. here. While Aakarshi, who stayed unbeaten in the tournament, is set to join double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu in the CWG team as the second women’s singles player, Priyanshu will get a chance to represent the country at the Asian Games and Thomas Cup.

With Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth given direct selection due to their top 15 world ranking, Priyanshu, however, won’t get a place in the CWG team. Priyanshu has been in good form, losing just one match in the entire event at Stage 2B to Sai Charan Koya. Priyanshu, Kiran, Ravi and Sameer Verma emerged as the men’s singles players ranked 1 to 4 in the trials, while Aakarshi was followed by Ashmita, Unnati Hooda and Aditi Bhatt in women’s singles.

The top three women’s singles players will get a chance to represent the country as three positions are available for the Asian Games and Uber Cup teams.

In mixed doubles, B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa staved off challenge from Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto 11-21, 22-20, 21-18 to grab the top position. The duo are likely to be picked for all the three major events. Ishaan and Tanisha finished second, followed by Pratik Ranade and Akshaya Warnag, and N Sikki Reddy and K Sai Pratheek. According to the selection procedure of the BAI, the winner of the mixed doubles will be selected for the third slot in the CWG team.

In women’s doubles, Commonwealth Games bronze medalists Ashwini and Sikki will fight it out with All England semifinalists Tressa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand to decide the top position. While both the pairs are assured of berths in the Asian Games and Uber Cup teams, where three positions are up for grabs, only the winner will be picked for CWG. The winner of the match between Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker, and Tanisha and Shruti Mishra later in the day will decide the third spot.

Fast-rising men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila also finished at the top. The duo first beat Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy 21-6, 25-23 and later K Sai Pratheek retired following an injury, paving their way to the top. Manu and Sumeeth will take on Krishna Prasad G and Vishnuvardhan Goud P to decide the number 2 and 3 rankings, while Ishaan and Sai Pratheek finished at the fourth place.

According to the BAI selection policy, the top two men’s pairs will be picked for Asian Games and Thomas Cup. The selection committee will meet later in the evening to take a final call on the players

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