Ritika-Simran seal maiden berth in Indian badminton teams | Badminton News

NAGPUR: A day after achieving their target to be in the ‘top four’ of women’s doubles in the country, the Maharashtra duo of Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi sealed their maiden India berth on Thursday. The Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced the squads after selection trials for the major events this year, including the Commonwealth and Asian Games, Thomas and Uber Cup.
While the top-three finishers of the BAI trials in the women’s doubles category were included in the squad for the 29th Uber Cup scheduled in Bangkok from May 8-15, Ritika and Simran made it to the squad after an injured Sikki Reddy N pulled out citing injury in abdominal muscles. Sikki’s injury forced the second-best Indian pair of her and Ashwini Ponnappa to withdraw their participation.
City’s doubles specialist Ritika was elated to seal her maiden berth in the senior Indian team. “Since this will be our first time to play and practice alongside India’s top shuttlers, we are both very happy and excited. We are satisfied that we achieved our aim to be in the core group of top four in the country. In the Uber Cup , we will play freely, and we both look forward to competing against the world’s best doubles pair from Korea and Japan, “Ritika told TOI.
A student of Hislop College, Ritika trains under Ajay Dayal. Both Ritika and Simran will also be participating in the Asian Badminton Championships at Manila before heading to the Uber Cup.
Haryana’s 14-year-old Unnati Hooda became the youngest Indian badminton player to be part of the Asian Games squad. Unnati, the teenage sensation from Rohtak, caught the selectors’ eyes as she secured a place for the Asian Games as well as Uber Cup by finishing third in the women’s singles after Aakarshi Kashyap and Ashmita Chaliha, who claimed first and second positions respectively.
BAI also finalized names of 40 players (20 men and 20 women) for the senior national coaching camp and core group for the 2024 Olympic Games, based on players’ positions in trials.
PV Sindhu will spearhead the women’s challenge in Commonwealth and Asian Games while Saina Nehwal did not expectly feature in the squads.
World Championships medallists Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth will lead India’s medal quest among men in the Birmingham CWG (July 28 to August 8) and Asian Games (September 10-25) in Hangzhou, China.
“We are delighted with the energy of the selection trials. All the players gave everything on the court to earn themselves a chance to represent the country. It’s great to see high-quality competition for the positions. I congratulate all the players and wish them good luck for their preparations for mega events, “said Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of BAI, after the selection meeting that took place late on Wednesday night.
“This new format for the trials was developed to provide a platform where the senior as well as young players can have opportunities and now you can see the squads are a great mix of youth and experience and am sure each of them will make the most of This opportunity and make India proud, “Mishra added.
Commonwealth Games (Men): Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty and B Sumeeth Reddy. Women: PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri P, Ashwini Ponappa.
Asian Games, Thomas & Uber Cup (Men): Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Priyanshu Rajawat, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Dhruv Kapila, MR Arjun, Vishnu Vardhan Goud, Krishna Prasad Gariga. Women: PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha, Unnati Hooda, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri P, Ritika Thaker, Simran Singhi, Tanisha Crasto and Shruti Mishra.


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