7 Indian shuttlers set to qualify for Rio
An unprecedented seven Indian shuttlers are set to qualify for the Olympics Games at Rio de Janeiro when the official BWF rankings are released on Thursday. The cut-off date for BWF rankings is May 5, the day will be used to allocate 34 individual quota places for men and 34 individual quota places for women to the highest ranked athletes in singles event.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, who is currently at the 7th place in the race to Rio qualification, will play her third Olympic Games, while P V Sindhu, who is at 9th position, will be the second Indian player in women’s singles competition at Rio.
In men’s singles, 2014 China Open winner Kidambi Srikanth, who is at 10th place in Race to Rio qualification, will carry the Indian flag, while Manu Attri and B Summeth Reddy will become the first Indian men’s doubles pair to qualify for the Games. The World No. 19 pair are ranked 11th in Race to Rio qualification.
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who had represented India at the London Games, will play their second Olympics in women’s doubles competition. They are 9th in the Race to Rio qualification.
However, no Indian pair was good enough to qualify in the mixed doubles event, while Parupalli Kashyap was all set to qualify before a series of injuries robbed him off a chance to play in Olympics for the second time.
Five Indians had qualified for the London Olympics in 2012. Though the official ranking, which will also consider the ranking points from Asia Championship, will only be out on Thursday, it didn’t stop the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and a couple of Rio-bound shuttlers to express their excitement on social networking sites. “Congratulations @srikidambi @Guttajwala @NSaina @P9Ashwini @AtriManu @Pvsindhu1 and sumeeth reddy on Rio qualification. Best wishes!!,” SAI wrote on its official Twitter handle.
One half of the 2010 Commonwealth Games champions, Jwala wrote on facebook: “We made it... Now for the next step..medal finish.”