PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will share the responsibility in the women’s singles events at the Asian Mixed Team Championship. (Photo: AFP)
New Delhi: Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu and London Games bronze winner Saina Nehwal have been named in the Indian squad for the inaugural Asia Mixed Team Championships, scheduled to be held in Vietnam from February 14-19.
Sindhu, who clinched the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold at Lucknow last week and Saina, who begun the new season with a win at Malaysia Masters, will be sharing the responsibility in the women’s singles.
Besides, there is also Tanvi Lad and Rituparna Das but they are unlikely to get a chance considering that the event will have only one women’s singles match, one men’s singles, one men’s doubles, one women’s doubles and one mixed doubles.
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Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold winner Sameer Verma, who has been in rampaging form with a final finish at Hong Kong Super Series last year, will spearhead the Indian challenge in men’s singles. Swiss Open champion H S Prannoy will also be a vital cog in the team which will not have the services of Kidambi Srikanth, who has decided to skip the event.
Rio Olympians – B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri – world ranked 22nd, and young teenage pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be featuring in men’s doubles event.
Brimming with confidence after winning their maiden Grand Prix Gold title at Lucknow, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy, will look to give India a win in the mixed doubles event, while Sikki will also be pairing up with Ashwini Ponnappa.
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The newly-formed duo would take on the more experienced women’s doubles combinations during the event. The team will also have the services of K Maneesha.
A total of 13 teams will be fighting for the coveted trophy at the continental mixed team tournament which will also showcase Asian giants – China, Korea, Japan and Malaysia as the top four seeds.
India have been clubbed in Group D along with Korea and Singapore, while China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong are in Group A, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka are in Group B, while Group C consists of Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.