Badminton Asia Team C'ships: India men’s and women’s teams placed in same groups with China

The Indian men's team, led by H.S Prannoy in singles and the formidable pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The Indian men’s team, led by H.S Prannoy in singles and the formidable pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in doubles, finds itself placed in Group A alongside Hong Kong and Asian powerhouse China in a challenging draw for the upcoming Badminton Asia Team Championships.

The fifth edition of the championship is scheduled to take place in Shah Alam, Malaysia, from February 13-18, 2024. With only the top two teams progressing to the knockout stage, India faces a tough challenge in a group that includes some of the region’s strongest badminton nations.

Similarly, the Indian women’s team, captained by the iconic P.V Sindhu, has been drawn into Group W alongside China. Unlike the men’s group, the women’s group comprises only two teams, assuring both India and China a place in the knockout stage.

Sindhu, who has been out of action for nearly three months due to an injury sustained at the French Open, will make her comeback in this tournament. The women’s team also features experienced players like Ashwini Ponnappa, Gayatri Gopichand, and debutant Anmol Kharb.

The Badminton Asia Team Championships serve as qualifiers for the prestigious Thomas Cup (men’s team world cup) and Uber Cup (women’s team world cup). The Indian teams, aiming for podium finishes, have a chance to better their performances from the last edition where both the men’s and women’s teams were eliminated in the group stages.

The men’s team, looking to defend its Thomas Cup crown, boasts a strong lineup featuring Prannoy, Satwik, and Chirag. Meanwhile, the women’s team seeks to surpass its previous quarterfinal finish. With a blend of experienced players and emerging talents, India will aim for a standout performance in this edition of the championship.

The Badminton Asia Team Championships hold particular significance for Indian maestro P.V Sindhu, who returns to competitive action after an injury-enforced hiatus. Sindhu’s leadership, coupled with the team’s depth, presents an opportunity for India to make a mark on the continental badminton stage and set the tone for a successful campaign in 2024.

–IANS/hs/bsk/

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