The Badminton Association of India (BAI) issued fresh guidelines on Indian shuttlers’ qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
According to the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) qualification regulations for the 2024 Paris Olympics, approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the qualification process kicked off on May 1, 2023, and will run until April 28, 2024.
The qualification of shuttlers across all five disciplines will be determined depending on their rankings in the BWF’s Race to Paris Rankings list on April 30, 2024.
Only those in the top 16 in two singles events will be eligible for qualification, but each National Olympic Committee (NOC) can send a maximum of two players ranked in the top 16 of the Road to Paris rankings.
In each of the three doubles disciplines, an NOC has a maximum of two quota places if both pairs are ranked within the top 8 of the Race to Paris ranking on the qualification date.
Apart from the selection from the top 16 and top 8, there are four universality places for eligible NOCs: two in the men’s singles and two in the women’s singles. The deadline for NOCs to submit their requests is 15 January 2024.
As there is a chance that more than two players can end up being ranked in the top 16 in singles and the top 8 in doubles at the end of the qualification cycle, BAI has come up with its own guidelines to facilitate the process.
For men’s and women’s singles events, BAI has decided that only the two highest-ranked players in the top 16 will earn qualification.
“In case there are more than two players in the top 16 of the Race to Paris ranking on the qualification date, only two highest ranking players will be considered for the selection in the Indian team,” BAI stated in a release.
Likewise, in doubles, “BAI will consider two pairs in each doubles discipline if the pairs are ranked within the top 8 of the Race to Paris ranking on the qualification date.”
“In case there are more than two pairs in the top 8 of the Race to Paris ranking on the qualification date, only the two highest ranking pairs will be considered for the selection in the Indian team,” the release added.
Where do Indian players stand in Road to Paris rankings?
As of November 10, India has only one player ranked in the top 16 of men’s singles rankings as HS Prannoy is placed at seventh spot in the Road to Paris Rankings with 66164 points.
In women’s singles, PV Sindhu is India’s top-ranked player at 10th spot. She has a strong chance to play her third consecutive Olympics in Paris even though she has opted for a protected ranking due to a right knee injury. India is unlikely to have second representation in women’s singles.
In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are India’s biggest hope for Paris Olympics qualification as they are ranked sixth in the Road to Paris Rankings. In women’s doubles, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand will have to pull their socks up to earn a qualification. They are currently ranked 22nd in the Road to Paris Rankings.
With the nearest Indian pair ranked 35th in the Road to Paris rankings, India is unlikely to have a representation in mixed doubles at the Paris Olympics.