London Olympic Games bronze medallist Saina Nehwal has pulled out of final selection trials for a place in the badminton competition for the Asian Games 2023.
Saina has withdrawn from the selection trials scheduled to be held from May 3 to 7 at the Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence in Telangana.
As per the Badminton Association of India (BAI) rules, the top-ranked players P.V Sindhu (women’s singles), H.S Prannoy (Men’s singles), Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty (men’s doubles) and Treesha Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand have already qualified to be part of the Indian squad for the Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 22 to October 8, 2023.
The rest of the 14 members to make up the 20-member Indian squad for the Asian Games will be selected through the final selection trials.
Saina’s name is missing from the list of players that have confirmed their participation in the final selection trials. Her name was included in the initial list issued a few weeks back.
As per the circular issued by BAI for the trials, Aakarshi Kashyap, Malavika Bansod, Ashmita Chaliha, Aditi Bhat, Unnati Hooda, Alisha Naik, Shriyanshi Valishetty and Anupama Upadhyay will be competing for spots in women’s singles competition.
Saina Nehwal has not been in great form of late. In what has been a stop-start season for her this year, the former world No. 1 has failed to progress beyond the second round in any of the four BWF World Tour 2023 tournaments she has competed in.
Recently, she had withdrawn from the Badminton Asia Championships in Dubai, which concluded on Sunday.
Besides Saina Nehwal, the men’s doubles pair of Kushal Raj and Prakash Raj have also withdrawn from the trials.
Those in contention for spots for men’s singles include Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen, Priyanshu Rajawat, Mithun Manjunath, B Sai Praneeth, Maisnam Meiraba, Bharat Raghav, Ansal Yadav, Siddharth Gupta.