Sindhu, Saina, Srikanth headline National Badminton Championships – Times of India

NAGPUR: Almost all the top Indian shuttlers, including Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, will be seen in action in the seven-day Senior National Badminton Championships which begins here from Thursday.

Besides Olympic medallists Sindhu and Saina, the championship will see Srikanth who is in red-hot form after becoming the first Indian and fourth in the world to win four Super Series titles in a calendar.

No doubt, Srikanth will be the favourite to win the title in the men’s singles.

In the women’s singles, Saina and Sindhu may clash in some stage, which will be a rare occasion for the badminton fans to relish.

Other top Indian shuttlers who will be taking part in the championships include HS Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram, Sai Praneeth B, Sameer Verma, Sourabh Verma, Parupalli Kashyap and Danial Farid in men’s singles and Rituparna Das and Anura Prabhudesai in women’s singles.

Over 400 players from 29 states and 2 union territories will take part in the event.

Srikanth, Prannoy, Jayaram, Sai Praneeth, Verma brothers, Kashyap and Farid have been given direct entry to the pre-quarterfinals in men’s singles. Similarly, Sindhu, Saina, Rituparna and Anura will start the tournament from the pre- quarterfinals in women’s singles.

In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, Manu Attri/Reddy B, Arjun M R/Ramchandran Shlok and the top pair from the latest BAI rankings have been handed a direct entry to the quarterfinals.

In women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa/Reddy N Sikki, Sanjana Santosh/Arathi Sara Sunil, Jakkampudi Meghana/S Ram Poorvisha and a top pair from latest BAI rankings will start the tournament from the quarterfinals.

In mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Reddy N Sikki, Reddy B Sumeeth/Ashwini Ponnappa, top and second ranked pair from the latest BAI rankings have been handed a direct entry to the quarterfinals.

The 82nd edition, which will continue till November 8 at the Divisional Sports Complex at Mankapur here, is being held under the aegis of Badminton Association of India and Maharashtra Badminton Association.

There will be five events — men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mix doubles and team championship — in the tournament.

The total prize money for the event is Rs 60 lakh — the highest ever in the history of the Senior Nationals.

The winner in men’s and women’s singles as well as the doubles pairs will receive Rs 2 lakhs each while corresponding runners-up will get Rs 1.5 lakh.

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