Having qualifying for the Rio Olympics after a hectic schedule last month, India’s top shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has decided to skip the BWF Thomas Cup, starting on May 15 in Kunshan, China.
“No, I’m not playing. I need to be at my best for Indonesia Open. So after the hectic schedule, will take a break to train and prepare for the Olympics,” Srikanth told.
With Srikanth sitting out, the onus will be on the other two top players — Ajay Jayaram and H.S. Prannoy — to carry the Indian flag in the Team championship. Also in the team will be B. Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma.
Three singles and two doubles will be played during the Thomas Cup.
Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy, who became the first Indian men’s doubles pair to qualify for the Olympics after the BWF World ranking were published on Thursday, will lead the doubles challenge.
Besides those two, Akshay Dewalkar, young R. Satwik Sai Raj of Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai’s Chirag Shetty would complete the line-up.
India has been clubbed in Group B along with Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong.
Thomas Cup defending champions Japan and top seeds China found themselves in the same group. The two heavyweights were drawn in Group A alongside France and Mexico, ensuring that the starting stages of the finals itself should be an intensely competitive affair.
Second seeds Denmark, in Group D, were drawn with Chinese Taipei, New Zealand and South Africa, while Group C has Korea, Malaysia, England and Germany.
The final rounds will consist of group stage followed by knockout. The top two teams in each group will make it to the knockout stage. There will be another draw for the quarterfinals.
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