Badminton Asia Championship: Indian contingent seek vital ranking points ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics - Firstpost

Badminton Asia Championship: Indian contingent seek vital ranking points ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics

Wuhan, China: Indian shuttlers, including Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu, will look to earn some valuable ranking points when they start their campaign in the Badminton Asia Championship, the last event before the Olympic qualification deadline, starting in Wuhan on Wednesday.

After recovering from a nagging ankle injury, Saina had registered semifinal finishes in the Swiss Open, India Open and Malaysia Open before skipping the Singapore Open, and the fifth seeded Indian will now open her campaign here against Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia tomorrow.

Saina Nehwal. AFP

Saina Nehwal. AFP

World No. 10 Sindhu, however, made a lot of quarterfinal exits this year in Swiss Open, India Open, Malaysia Open and China Masters and she would be eager to break that jinx when she starts her campaign here against Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia in another women's singles match.

In men's singles, World No. 13 Kidambi Srikanth, who is set to play his first Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August, have been going through an inexplicable slump in form, making too many first round exits.

The 23-year-old from Guntur lost in the opening round at the India Open, Malaysia Open, Singapore Open and China Masters, and the eighth seeded Indian will look to end the dismal run when he clash with Korea's Lee Dong Keun in the opening round.

More actions are in store at the Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium as 2010 Commonwealth Games champion pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will face Korean pair of Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee.

World No. 20 men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will meet Japan's Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar will square off against Hong Kong combo of Or Chin Chung and Tang Chun Man.

A country can enter a maximum of two players each in the men's and women's singles, if both are ranked in the world's top 16, otherwise, one quota place until the roster of thirty-eight players has been completed. Similar regulations in the singles tournaments also apply to the players competing in the doubles.

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