Top five Indian shuttlers favourite to qualify for Paris Olympics after January 2024
(Courtesy : BAI)
India sent a five-member badminton contingent in Tokyo.
The Paris Olympics 2024 are just around the corner, and the Indian badminton players are gearing up for the biggest event of their careers. The shuttlers have from May 1, 2023, to April 28, 2024, to qualify for the Olympics. The final list of eligible players will be published on April 30, 2024.
The qualification criteria and process are based on the “Race to Paris” ranking list, which considers only the top 10 tournaments of each player. NOCs may enter a maximum of two players each in the men’s and women’s singles if they are ranked in the top 16; otherwise, they will send a single player until the roster of 38 is full.
Similar regulations apply to players competing in the doubles competition, with NOCs allowed to enter a maximum of two pairs if they are ranked in the top eight, while the others are limited to a single pair until the quota of 16 is reached.
So, who are the top five Indian shuttlers who are favourite to qualify for the Paris Olympics? Let’s take a look at their performance and potential.
Satwik Sairajrankireddy/Chirag Shetty
The Brothers of Destruction started the 2024 season on a high and are currently in a very comfortable position to qualify. They are fourth in the race to Paris with 87,231 points in 14 tournaments. Their main challenge will be to be in the top four of the rankings and be seeded. So far, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have:
- Won three titles (Asian Games, Indonesia Open, Korea Open)
- Finished second in three tournaments (China Masters, Malaysia Open, India Open)
The second Indian who is in a comfortable position to qualify is India’s no 1 men’s singles player HS Prannoy. He is currently eighth in the race to Paris rankings with 73,314 points. He will aim to be in the top eight of the rankings. So far, HS Prannoy has:
- Won one title at Malaysia Masters
- Finished second in the Australia Open
- Started the year with a semifinal finish at his home tournament India Open
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Battling from an injury, the double Olympic medalist will be eying a hat-trick of medals at Paris. The former world champion will be returning to the court at the Asian Team championships in mid-February. PV Sindhu is currently in 13th position in the race to Paris with 57,388 points and her aim will be to finish in the top eight. She has reached the semifinals four times in the ranking period, which is her best result.
Ashwini Ponnappa/Tanisha Crasto
The newly formed pair of Ashwini and Tanisha is doing wonders at the court. They quickly climbed to the top 20 of the world ranking and became India’s new number one in women’s doubles, beating Tressa/Gayatri who has been struggling injuries. The duo is currently ranked 18th position in the race to Paris rankings with 48,080 points. They have:
- Won three tournaments (Nantes International Challenge, Abu Dhabi Masters, Guhawati Masters)
- Finished second in two tournaments (Syed Modi and Odisha Masters)
Lakshya Sen, who has been struggling with fitness issues and was not performing well on the court, is currently in a difficult position to qualify for the Olympics. He is currently out of the top 16 and if he has to qualify, he needs to enter the top 16 in the qualification rankings. Sen has 51,420 points and is ranked 19th in the race to Paris rankings. However, a couple of good tournaments will allow him to enter the top 16 and help him to qualify for the Olympics. He has
- Won the Canada Open
- Reached the semifinals of three tournaments (Thailand Open, US Open and Japan Open)
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