Prospect of Indian Shuttlers in Paris

Prospect of Indian Shuttlers in Paris

India will compete at the Paris Olympics, which is to be held from 26th July-11th August 2024. With seven medals for India at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (it was India’s best ever performance at the Olympics), there is hope for an even better performance from the Indian contingent at the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

As of March 8th, 2024, 58 athletes have already qualified for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris. It’s anticipated that the Indian team in Paris will be even larger than the contingent at the Tokyo Olympics, where 124 Indian athletes competed—the highest number of participants from India in Olympic history.

Badminton is one discipline where India has strong hopes of winning a medal or two. However, we are not sure yet about the final list of shuttlers for the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

Selection Criteria

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) will consider maximum two singles players in each singles discipline for the Paris Olympics.To secure a spot at the upcoming Paris Olympics, players must be ranked within the top 16 in the Race to Paris rankings by the qualification deadline. If more than two players are in the top 16 on that date, only the two highest-ranked players will be selected for the Indian team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

For the doubles, BAI will consider maximum two pairs in each doubles discipline for the Paris Olympics. For getting a ticket to the forthcoming Paris Olympics, the pairs need to be ranked within the top 8 of the Race to Paris ranking on the qualification date. 

If there are more than two pairs ranked in the top 8 of the Race to Paris rankings on the qualification date, only the two highest-ranked pairs will be chosen for the Indian team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Another Medal from Sindhu? 

Based on the Olympic selection criteria, it appears that Sindhu, currently ranked 11th in the world, will be the only women’s singles badminton player representing India at the Paris Olympics.

Sindhu is perhaps the most renowned badminton player of India and achieved a cult status over the years. After winning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, she became the first Indian woman and only the fourth player in the world in women’s singles badminton to win two medals at two consecutive editions of Olympic games. In fact, she is the only Indian woman to win two individual medals at the Olympics.

Except for making it to the final of the 2023 Spain Masters, where she lost to Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in straight sets, and being part of the Indian team that won a bronze medal at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships (India’s first medal in this tournament), her year has been quite lackluster in terms of badminton performance. Therefore, we can’t confidently predict that Sindhu will secure another medal for us in Paris. However, as a true champion, she has a proven ability to return to her winning ways.

So, India can hope for a medal from its champion shuttler PV Sindhu who already has a bronze (Tokyo Olympics) and a silver (Rio Olympics) medal in Olympics to her name. HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and Ashwini Ponnappa-Tanisha Crasto are other champion badminton players on whom India’s winning badminton medal/s at Paris depends upon. 

The Winning Pairs

Here it deserves a mention that on 8th October 2023, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy scripted history when they won the first ever gold medal in badminton for India in the Asian Games. They achieved the feat in the recently held Asian Games in Hangzhou. Though badminton was introduced at the Asiad since 1962 but for more than 60 years a gold medal in badminton at the mega sporting event eluded us. The two talented young men won the gold in the men’s doubles section.

Last year witnessed a series of triumphs by the pair of top shuttlers. The pair had an impressive run last year, winning the 2023 Swiss Open, clinching gold at the 2023 Badminton Asia Championships in Dubai, and triumphing at the 2023 Indonesia Open by defeating South Korea’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the final. They also won the 2023 Korean Open by beating Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the final. Chirag and Satwiksairaj reached the men’s doubles final at the 2023 China Masters but lost to China’s Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang.

The winning pair has continued their success this year as well. They reached the final of the Super 1000 event at the 2024 Malaysia Open and won the 2024 BWF French Open by defeating the Chinese Taipei duo of Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan in straight games

So, going by their current terrific form, we can hope that if they get a ticket at the Paris Olympics, their chances of winning a medal for India is bright. In the doubles section, Satwik-Chirag (currently No. 2 in the qualifying list for Paris Olympics in men’s doubles) and Ashwini-Tanisha (currently No. 12 in the Olympic list for women’s doubles) have high chance of getting a ticket at the Paris Olympics.

Ashwini Ponnappa-Tanisha Crasto pair is also going great guns as far as their performance in the court in the recent past goes.Last year, they won the Abu Dhabi Masters Super 100, the Nantes International Challenge, and the Guwahati Masters Super 100 tournaments.

Though Olympics is of another level altogether, but going by their winning form in the last year one can hope that they may bring home a medal from Paris.


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