Top
Bg

INDIA AT TOKYO OLYMPICS

INDIA AT OLYMPICS

Gold 0
silver 1
Bronze 0
india
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Know Why

Saina, Srikanth missed out on qualifying for Tokyo Olympics — Know Why?

Both Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth's chances of making it to the Tokyo Olympics were significantly depleted by postponement of a number of tournaments that served as qualifiers.

Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth
X

Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2021-06-08T12:00:55+05:30

The fear that was looming for quite a long time now became a reality on Friday when the Badminton World Federation issued a statement declaring the qualification race for Tokyo Olympics closed as no more qualifying tournaments would be played due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The declaration goes on drawing the curtains upon Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth's hopes for representing India at the Games in Tokyo.

While both Srikanth and Saina were the closest to the qualifying mark, a total of four shuttlers will represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics — Pv Sindhu in women's singles, B Sai Praneeth in men's singles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in men's doubles.

In the Race to Tokyo qualifying system, players had to be ranked inside the top 16 of the singles rankings in the standings and the top eight of the doubles rankings to achieve the qualification. Saina is ranked 22nd while Srikanth is 20th. Ashwini and Sikki are ranked 26th. Sindhu, who won gold at the 2019 World Championships, is ranked seventh while Praneeth is 13th.

Their chances of making it to the Olympics were significantly depleted by the postponement of a number of tournaments that served as qualifiers, most notably the Indian Open, the Malaysian Open, and the Singapore Open, in March and April.

The three tournaments were the last in the qualification calendar and were all deferred amid a deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India.

Here, we look at how both Srikanth and Nehwal have fared in the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers and how the postponement of the Indian Open affects the veteran duo.


Why Saina couldn't make the cut for Tokyo Olympics?

Saina Nehwal was the first female superstar of Indian badminton who won the bronze medal at the Olympics in 2012. However, with each passing day, the former world no. 1 seemed to be languishing out of form enduring a torrid run in the international circuit. The first real female badminton superstar from India, Saina Nehwal has been enduring a torrid run in the international circuit for quite a few years.


Saina Nehwal

She began her Race to Tokyo campaign with the New Zealand Open in 2019 making an exit in the opening round. A series of similar first-round exits further depleted her chances to qualify. Her best performance since then has been the semifinal finish at the recently concluded Orleans Masters. Saina played a total of 17 tournaments during the Tokyo Olympics qualification cycle which started in April 2019 and earned a total of 57367.4134 points. Considering the 10 best results that contribute to Race to Tokyo Rankings she has 43037 points. The 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist played a total of 28 matches during this time and won just 11 of those with a poor 39.2% win percentage. Here's a look at her performances

Saina Nehwal's performances in the Tokyo Olympics qualifying tournaments

Event

Position

New Zealand Open 2019

Round 1

Sudirman Cup 2019

Lost the only match played

Thailand Open 2019

Round 2

World Championships 2019

Round 2

China Open 2019

Round 1

Korea Open 2019

Round 1

Denmark Open 2019

Round 1

French Open 2019

Quarterfinals

China Open 2019

Round 1

Hong Kong Open 2019

Round 1

Malaysia Masters 2020

Quarterfinals

Indonesia Masters 2020

Round 1

Thailand Masters 2020

Round 1

Barcelona Spain Masters 2020

Quarterfinals

All England Open 2020

Round 1

Swiss Open 2021

Round 1

Orleans Masters 2021

Semifinals

Why Srikanth couldn't make the cut for Tokyo Olympics?

Similar to Saina, Kidambi also holds the record of being the world's no. 1 badminton player. However, his flight on top barely lasted for a week. The 28-year-old played his first Olympic qualifying tournament, the Indonesian Open in July 2019, where he crashed out in the round of 16.

Kidambi Srikanth

He failed to reach the finals of any tournaments since then, which could have propelled his rankings to win some crucial points. Similar to Saina, Kidambi competed in a total of 17 tournaments amassing 59829.429 points. During the course of the qualification period, Srikanth has a won just 50% of his games. Considering the 10 best results that contribute to Race to Tokyo Rankings he has 4,2989 points. Having played his first Olympic qualification tournament in July 2019 to the recently concluded Orleans Masters in March 2021, the former world number 1 has tasted wins in just 17 of the 34 matches he played.


Kidambi Srikanth's performances in Tokyo Olympics qualifying tournaments

Event

Position

Indonesian Open 2019

Round 2

Japan Open 2019

Round 1

Thailand Open 2019

Round 2

World Championships 2019

Round 2

Denmark Open 2019

Round 1

French Open 2019

Round 1

Hong Kong Open 2019

Semifinals

Korea Masters 2019

Round 2

Syed Modi International Badminton Championship 2019

Quarterfinals

Malaysia Masters 2020

Round 1

Indonesia Masters 2020

Round 1

Thailand Masters 2020

Round 1

Badminton Asia Championships 2020

2 wins out of 3

Barcelona Spain Masters

Round 2

All England Open 2020

Round 1

Swiss Open 2021

Semifinals

Orleans Masters 2021

Quarterfinals

Such results by both the Indian badminton superstars were never going to be enough for the Olympics in Tokyo. Both Saina and Srikanth are ageing and might find it difficult to appear in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Three years from now, the competition too could become tougher. Saina is 31 while Srikanth is 28. Srikanth may still pose a challenge for a spot in the 2024 Olympics, by which time he would be 31. On the other hand, Tokyo might have been the last chance for Saina to challenge for a second Olympics medal as she would be 35 by 2024.


Next Story