The Badminton World Championships 2023 draw was held on Thursday at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A total of 16 Indian shuttlers were part of the draw, four of whom will feature in singles events. Only HS Prannoy and the Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty duo are seeded in the top 10.
Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu (16th seed), the only Indian to have won the World Championship (in 2019), has been awarded a bye in the first round. She will be taking on either Vietnam’s Thuy Linh Nguyen or Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the round that follows. Sindhu could be up against former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the third round and if she manages to reach the quarterfinals, it could mean a clash with World No. 1 An Seyoung of Korea.
Second seeds and bronze medallists of the previous edition, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have also received a bye. The World No. 2 men’s doubles pairing will clash with either Ireland’s Joshua Magee/Paul Reynolds or Australia’s Kenneth Zhe Hooi Choo/Ming Chuen Lim in the second round. If the draw holds, the Satwik-Chirag pair could face its first real test in the quarterfinals against Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi before a potential semifinal against Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang, third seeds from China.
The star trio of HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, and Kidambi Srikanth from India will be in action in men’s singles. In the first round, Prannoy, seeded ninth, will face Kalle Koljonen of Finland, while 11th-seeded Lakshya will meet Georges Julien Paul of Mauritius. Srikanth will lock horns with 14th-seeded Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.
Prannoy, the highest-ranked Indian male player, is projected to face top seed Victor Axelsen in the quarterfinals while Lakshya could be up against third-seeded Thai shuttler Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the third round.
In women’s doubles, 15th seeds Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, also awarded a bye in the first round, will face either Chinese Taipei’s Chang Ching Hui/Yang Chin Tun or Estonia’s Kati-Kreet Marran/Helina Ruutel in second round. The other team comprising Ashwini Bhat K. and Shikha Gautam will play against the Netherlands’ Debora Jille and Cheryl Seinen in the opening round.
Lastly, Rohan Kapoor and N. Sikki Reddy will hope for a win against Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson (Scotland) in the first round of mixed doubles. In the same category, Venkat Prasad and Juhi Dewangan will face German duo Jones Ralfy Jansen and Linda Efler.
The 28th edition of the Worlds, scheduled to be played between August 21-27 in Copenhagen, will have over 375 shuttlers from 55 countries competing in five different categories - men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
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