Saina and Srikanth’s Olympics hopes at peril as India Open 2021 postpones
Saina is placed at 22nd in the BWF Race To Tokyo rankings while Srikanth is placed at 20th.
The olympic dream seems to be vanishing for both the former world no. 1s in badminton from India. With the postponement of Yonex India Open 2021, one of the Super 500 tournaments in the BWF World Tour and a few of the last qualifying tournaments for the Olympics, Kidambi Srikanth, and Saina Nehwal may fall short of ranking points. Saina, who is the bronze medalist from the London Olympics 2012 is placed at 22nd in the BWF Race To Tokyo rankings while Kidambi Srikanth who is the quarterfinalist from the Rio 2016 Olympics is placed at 20th.
As per the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rules for Olympic qualification only the top 16 players in the singles category and top 8 players in the doubles category can qualify for the Olympics. Each country can send a maximum of two players from one country (2 teams in doubles) if they are placed between the top 16 (top 8 for doubles). In the Women’s singles, Sindhu who is at no.7 will comfortably make it through which means that Saina can’t qualify even as the country’s representative. In the Men’s singles, the equation remains for Srikanth as B Sai Praneeth is placed at no.13 and he stands a better chance than Srikanth.
India Open would have been a ray of hope for the two players before it was postponed as a good performance would have boosted their rankings. Postponement of the tournament leaves uncertainty on the players as to when the tournament will be held as they look would forward to accumulate as many points as possible.