Indian Shuttlers: Satwik-Chirag, Prannoy, Gopichand: Indian Shuttlers’ Road to Olympics | Hyderabad News

Indian Shuttlers: Satwik-Chirag, Prannoy, Gopichand: Indian Shuttlers’ Road to Olympics | Hyderabad News

Hyderabad: The race to qualify for the Paris Olympics is gaining momentum. Barring Sindhu and the women’s duo of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who are recovering from injuries, all the other Indian probables will be seen in action at the season opener, the Malaysia Open Super-1000 tournament in Kuala Lumpur beginning on Tuesday.
HS Prannoy, PV Sindhu and the men’s pair of Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chirag Shetty are virtually assured of making the Olympics.But the key is to finish the qualification process.
“Our focus is to finish the qualification as soon as possible and focus on other aspects,” said chief coach Pullela Gopichand, who will be leading India in the fifth successive Games since his appointment in 2006.
Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth will vie for the second men’s singles spot. At No. 17, Lakshya requires a few semifinal finishes before April end to make the cut. In singles, two players in the top-16 get to represent the country in Olympics.
Srikanth is at No. 24 and has his task cut out. At No. 30, Priyanshu Rajawat has an outside chance.
“It depends on how well they do in big tournaments. All of them are doing well but it is important to get results,” Gopi said.
Health issues slowed down Lakshya last year but the former All England finalist was good in patches.
“He was very good in the team championships of the Asian Games. He won the Canada Open and reached the semifinals at Japan. He has good potential and it is just about getting things in line on the big day,” Gopichand said.
Despite not winning a single tournament last year, Sindhu is No. 10 in Olympic qualifying. Gopichand said that the women’s singles scene has not changed much over the last five years.
“Apart from An Se Young, the same set of players are there in women’s singles. I am sure Sindhu will be a top contender,” Gopichand said.
Prannoy has improved a lot in the last one year. “One good quality he developed is to peak at the right time. He did well at the World championships and the Asian Games. I am confident he can repeat this season,” the chief coach said.
Satwik-Chirag were a revelation last year. “They should continue from where they left last season. Just stick to basics and be confident,” Gopichand added.
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