PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal named in Indian squad for Asia Mixed Team Championships
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have been named in the Indian squad for the inaugural Asia Mixed Team Championships, scheduled to be held in Vietnam from 14-19 February.
New Delhi: Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu and London Games bronze winner Saina Nehwal have been named in the Indian squad for the inaugural Asia Mixed Team Championships, scheduled to be held in Vietnam from 14-19 February.
Sindhu, who clinched the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold at Lucknow last week and Saina, who begun the new season with a win at Malaysia Masters, will be sharing the responsibility in the women's singles.
Besides, there is also Tanvi Lad and Rituparna Das but they are unlikely to get a chance considering that the event will have only one women's singles match, one men's singles, one men's doubles, one women's doubles and one mixed doubles.
Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold winner Sameer Verma, who has been in rampaging form with a final finish at Hong Kong Super Series last year, will spearhead the Indian challenge in men's singles. Swiss Open champion H S Prannoy will also be a vital cog in the team which will not have the services of Kidambi Srikanth, who has decided to skip the event.
Rio Olympians – B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri – world ranked 22nd, and teenage pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be featuring in men's doubles event.
Brimming with confidence after winning their maiden Grand Prix Gold title at Lucknow, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy, will look to give India a win in the mixed doubles event, while Sikki will also be pairing up with Ashwini Ponnappa.
The newly-formed duo would take on the more experienced women's doubles combinations during the event. The team will also have the services of K Maneesha.
A total of 13 teams will be fighting for the coveted trophy at the continental mixed team tournament which will also showcase Asian giants – China, Korea, Japan and Malaysia as the top four seeds.
India have been clubbed in Group D along with Korea and Singapore, while China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong are in Group A, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka are in Group B, while Group C consists of Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.
Bhagat, who had qualified for the men's singles SL3 event on Thursday, and Kohli beat Thailand's Siripong Teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa 21-15 21-19 in a 29-minute clash to finish second in Group B.
The unseeded Suhas had lost to Mazur, who has won three gold medals in European Championships as well, in the qualifying group A match but the Indian made a tremendous effort in the final to challenge his World No 1 rival.
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The 38-year-old Suhas took just 19 minutes to see off Germany's Jan Niklas Pott 21-9 21-3 in a lopsided group A clash.