Road to Tokyo: Badminton

Here is a look at the qualification scenario for Badminton.

How can a player qualify for the Olympics in Badminton?

Qualification in Badminton will be based on the BWF Ranking list to be published on 15 June 2021, which will be based on results achieved during the period 29 April 2019 to 15 March 2020, and 4 January 2021 to 13 June 2021.

Nations can enter a maximum of two players each in the men’s and women’s singles, if both are ranked in the world’s top 16; otherwise, one quota place until the roster of thirty-eight players has been completed. In doubles, a nation can enter a maximum of two pairs if both are ranked in the top eight, while the remaining nations are entitled to one until the quota of 16 highest-ranked pairs is filled.

Which Indian players are in contention to qualify?

Men’s Singles:

Sai Praneeth is currently ranked 13th in ranking list and is in a good position to qualify. Kidambi Srikanth is currently 20th and needs to win big points in the coming tournaments if he has to get into Top 16. Srikanth has 42989 points while currently 16th rank is at 48400.

Women’s Singles:

PV Sindhu is ranked 7th and is virtually guaranteed a place at Tokyo Olympics. Saina Nehwal on the other hand is ranked 22nd. Saina is at 43037 points while 16th rank is currently at 49410 points.

Men’s Doubles:

In Men’s Doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty are currently 8th in the ranking list and will most probably make it to Tokyo Olympics. The second highest ranked pair of Manu Attri & Sumeeth Reddy is outside Top-30 and is out of the race given only few competitions are left.

Women’s Doubles:

In Women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa & Sikki Reddy are the highest ranked Indian pair at 26th rank. They need to get into Top 16 for a quota.They are currently 6000 points behind the 16th ranked English pair of Chloe/Lauren. Ashwini/Sikki can still cover up the deficit if they have a great run in the upcoming tournaments.

Mixed Doubles:

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Ashwini Ponnappa are ranked 27th in the race to Tokyo. It will be an uphill task for this pair to get into the Top 16 quota places. They are currently at 37497 points whereas 16th ranked pair is at 45673.

If we go by current standings, India is likely to get 3 quotas at Tokyo Olympics – 1 in Men’s Singles, 1 in Men’s Doubles and 1 in Women’s Singles.

Which tournaments are remaining in qualification period?

TournamentCategoryMaximum Points availableStatus
India OpenBWF Super 500920011-16 May
Malaysia OpenBWF Super 7501100025-30 May
Singapore OpenBWF Super 50092001-6 June
Peru InternationalInternational Series250021-25 April
European ChampionshipContinental Championship27 Apr – 2 May
Pan Am Championships Continental Championship 28 Apr – 2 May
Portugese Intl ChampionshipInternational Series25006-9 May

Unfortunately for Indian players, Asian Badminton Championship which was scheduled in April got postponed. It could have been a good opportunity to get ranking points.

Indian players who are outside qualification need to challenge for the title in the upcoming tournaments if they have to stand any chance of going to the Olympics.

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