Syed Modi badminton: Prannoy leads men’s challenge, Sindhu absent
Players will also be seeking to earn vital BWF points in their quest to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics at the Lucknow tournament
Being the Olympic qualifying year, the race to secure a spot in the 2024 Paris Games is intensifying among India’s elite shuttlers with the spotlight on HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen and K Srikanth.
Badminton World Federation guidelines dictate that only two men’s singles players will make the cut. Thus, every BWF event becomes crucial for the trio. The Syed Modi India International is the next, starting on Tuesday at the Uttar Pradesh Badminton Academy here.
The six-day event offers a total prize of $210,000 across five categories. The winner and runner-up will earn 7,000 and 5,950 BWF points, respectively. The Syed Modi International sets the stage for a series of back-to-back BWF Super 100 events in Guwahati and Odisha in the first fortnight of December.
Despite his quarterfinal loss in the China Masters Super 750 tournament last week, 31-year-old Prannoy, given top billing, eyes a strong finish in Lucknow to boost his chances of securing an Olympics berth — a dream he pursues after missing out on the last three editions.
The world No. 8 has enjoyed a stellar season, winning his first BWF World Tour event at the Malaysia Masters, securing bronze at the World Championships and the Hangzhou Asian Games. Overcoming past injuries, Prannoy has maintained remarkable consistency.
World No. 17 Lakshya Sen and former champion K Srikanth, despite their early exit in China, will aim for a strong showing at the Syed Modi International to accumulate valuable BWF points.
In women’s section, PV Sindhu, the defending champion, has opted out, which will give an opportunity for emerging talents Unnati Hooda, Malvika Bansod and former junior world No. 1 Tasnim Mir to make a mark.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand lead the Indian challenge in women’s doubles while Tanisha Crasto will partner Ashwini Ponappa. Tanisha, who won the mixed doubles last year with Ishaan Bhatnagar, will partner Dhruv Kapila.