Thursday, April 18

Lakshya Sen’s Olympic Hopes Take Flight, Prannoy Slips in Qualification Race

Lakshya Sen surges in Olympic badminton qualification race after French Open! Can he hold onto his spot? Find out about Sen's rise.

Indian badminton star Lakshya Sen has received a significant boost in his quest to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Following a stellar performance at the French Open badminton tournament, Sen has climbed to the crucial 15th position in the Olympic Games Qualification rankings.

Lakshya Sen – Stellar Rise and Ranking Rollercoaster

The 22-year-old shuttler from Almora enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2022, reaching a career-best ranking of world number six in November. However, his performance dipped in the following months, leading to a plunge to world number 25 by April 2023. Lakshya Sen displayed commendable resilience, clawing his way back to the 11th spot by August. Unfortunately, a string of early exits in early 2024 pushed him down to world number 20.

French Open Breakthrough Ignites Olympic Dreams

Sen’s recent struggles cast a shadow over his Olympic qualification hopes. First-round exits at the Malaysia Super 1000 and India Super 750 tournaments stagnated his ranking at world number 19. However, his exceptional run at the French Open, culminating in a semi-final finish, proved to be a game-changer. This impressive performance propelled him up the qualification rankings, placing him firmly in contention for a spot in Paris. Sen’s French Open feat not only bolstered his qualification chances but also saw him climb one spot to world number 18 in the latest BWF World rankings.

The Race for Paris: Who Makes the Cut?

With the top 16 players in the Olympic Games Qualification rankings by the end of April automatically qualifying for the Paris Games, the pressure is on for Indian shuttlers. While Sen’s rise is a positive sign, the competition remains fierce.

Men’s Singles:

  • HS Prannoy, the 2023 World Championships bronze medalist, unfortunately slipped to world number eight and eighth in the Olympic qualification rankings due to a first-round exit at the French Open. Despite the setback, Prannoy remains the highest-ranked Indian contender in the qualification race.
  • Kidambi Srikanth currently sits at 26th in the rankings, highlighting the intense competition for the coveted Olympic spots.

Women’s Singles and Doubles:

  • PV Sindhu, the two-time Olympic medalist, reached the quarter-final stage in Paris and holds the 13th position in the qualification rankings. Her experience and talent make her a strong contender.
  • The race for Paris is heating up in the women’s doubles category. Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Jolly currently occupy the 20th spot, while compatriots Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand are six positions behind. Interestingly, the BWF World rankings see a reversal, with Treesa and Gayatri edging out Ashwini-Tanisha for the 22nd spot.

Doubles Dominance, Yet Qualification Uncertain:

  • Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the French Open champions, reign supreme in the BWF World rankings for men’s doubles. However, they surprisingly find themselves at number two in the Olympic Games qualification rankings.

The badminton qualification race promises to be a thrilling one in the coming months. Lakshya Sen’s rise is a welcome development, but the battle for a spot in Paris is far from over. With the deadline approaching, all eyes will be on the performances of Indian shuttlers in upcoming tournaments as they strive to secure their place on the biggest sporting stage.

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