With the participation of 120 players across four categories, trials will be played in league-cum-round robin format.
Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) selection trials to pick the teams for the upcoming Thomas & Uber Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games will kick off at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.
A total of 120 players will be participating in the five categories as the 6-day long selection trials will go on till April 20 with coaches, parents and media will be allowed to watch the matches from the gallery. BAI will also select core group probable players for the 2024 Olympic Games as a group of 60 players will be selected through direct selection and trials.
The selection trials will be held in league-cum-round robin format to decide the positions. The seedings in the trials draw will be decided on the basis of international rankings followed by national rankings while combined individual ranking points given by BWF will be considered in doubles.
In the men’s singles, 25 players will be divided into eight groups as the Top-2 players will progress into the second stage where they will be divided into four groups.
The winner of each group will play for 1 to 4 ranks in a round-robin format. Runners-up from each group will fight for 5-8 positions while third-placed players will aim for 9 to 12 positions. In the women’s singles trials, 19 players will be divided into six groups, five of three players each and one with four. Similar to the men’s singles format, Top-2 players will progress into the second stage and then four groups will be formed as they will fight for positions from 1-12 in a round-robin format.
“We want to give each and every player enough chances to prove their abilities and this is the best possible format that BAI and the selection committee together came up with,” said Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of BAI.
Singles players Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and PV Sindhu alongside the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have been named as the automatic selection. “The players ranked Top-15 in the world have been selected directly as announced earlier. Prannoy’s name has also been included as all the selectors were of the unanimous view that he should be considered for direct selection as he has performed consistently at top events in the recent time and has beaten some top players,” Mishra added.
Men’s doubles and women’s doubles will see the competition of 13 and 11 pairs respectively. In the men’s doubles, pairs will be divided into four groups—three consisting of three pairs each while one with four pairs in the first stage, the women’s doubles will have four groups with three consisting of three pairs each and one with two pairs. Top-2 pairs will then progress into the second stage and will be further divided into two groups before they will fight for eight positions in each category. Top-2 teams will play for positions 1 to 4 while the bottom two teams will fight for positions 5 to 8.
In the mixed doubles category, 14 pairs will be divided into four groups and Top-2 from each group will move into the second stage where two groups will be formed before the final round-robin stage in which Top-2 pairs from each group will fight for the first four positions while bottom two teams will play for positions 5 to 8.
For CWG, both men’s and women’s teams will consist of two singles players while the remaining three positions will be filled by two doubles and one mixed doubles player. In the Thomas & Uber Cup and Asian Games squads, one singles and two doubles positions are available in the men’s category while in the women’s section three singles and the same number of doubles positions are up for grabs.
Top-8 men’s and women’s singles players, Top-6 men’s and women’s doubles pairs and 4 mixed doubles pairs will be selected to be part of the National Core Group along with players selected directly.
Thomas & Uber Cup are scheduled in Bangkok from May 8-15 while the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2022 Asian Games will take place in Birmingham and Hangzhou respectively from July 28 and September 10.