Road To Paris Olympic Games 2024: How Indian Badminton Stars Can Qualify - Explained

The final ‘Race to Paris Ranking Lists’ will be published on April 30, and that will officially confirm the status of each Indian badminton star in contention to qualify for Paris Olympic Games 2024. Let us evaluate their chances and current ranking status

X/PV Sindhu
Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu is well in contention to qualify for Paris Olympics 2024. Photo: X/PV Sindhu

It's all happening in Indian badminton right now. A packed schedule, all top stars in action and topsy-turvy results have kept supporters and avid followers on their toes in the run-up to Paris Olympic Games 2024. Lakshya Sen's lone-ranger campaign at the All England Open Championships - ending in a semi-final loss - has added to the intrigue. (More Badminton News)

The Olympics qualification process for badminton is such that the suspense is likely to continue until April 28, which is when the window for sealing quota berths will close. The final, updated ‘Race to Paris Ranking Lists’ will be published on April 30, and that will officially confirm the status of each Indian star in contention.

In all, 172 badminton internationals will compete at the Paris Games from 27 July to 5 August 2024, across five categories – men's singles (35), women’s singles (35), men’s doubles (16 pairs), women’s doubles (16 pairs), and mixed doubles (16 pairs).

Before the final lists are published, let us look at the Paris 2024 qualification prospects of India's most fancied, top-ranked players.

Women's Singles

PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap

India's star shuttler PV Sindhu is currently ranked 13th in the women's singles category of the Race to Paris ranking. A maximum of two players from a country can book quota places, provided they are both in the top 16.

The next best Indian is Aakarshi Kashyap at the 40th spot, which means Sindhu is more or less guaranteed a spot and barring an unforeseen event or injury, we will see the two-time Olympic medallist in action in Paris. As for Aakarshi, the door is likely to be shut as she won't be able to overtake Sindhu, and even making the top 16 is virtually impossible.

Men's Singles

HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth

Hangzhou Asian Games bronze medallist HS Prannoy is in ninth place in the men's singles Race to Paris ranking as of now. Though Lakshya Sen is close on his heels at the 12th spot, the third contender Kidambi Srikanth languishes at the 27th rung, which effectively confirms Prannoy's berth as Srikanth will not be able to overtake him.

In fact, Srikanth making the top-16 cut by April 28 is improbable, and Sen looks set to qualify alongside Prannoy. The 22-year-old is high on confidence after his strong run at the All England Open, and will aim to build more momentum ahead of the Paris showdown. As for former world number 1 Srikanth, his campaign to seal a Paris 2024 spot hangs by a thread.

Men's Doubles

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty

Despite a disappointing round of 16 defeat in the All England Open, the world number 1 pairing of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy sits pretty in the second spot in the men's doubles Race to Paris ranking currently. They need to assure themselves of a top-8 rank as on April 28, and barring exigencies, the trailblazing duo is set to head to Paris. And as a serious medal contender at that.

Women's Doubles

Tanisha Crasto-Ashwini Ponnappa, Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand

Two Indian women's doubles pairs are in realistic contention to qualify, though it is likely to be an uphill task for at least one of them. Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa are placed 20th, while Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand are in the 26th spot. For both the pairs to book a quota each, they both need to be in the top-8 on April 28.

In case neither of them make the top-8 by then, the highest-ranked Indian pair will take the lone spot on offer, which is where the tussle between Crasto-Ponnappa and Jolly-Gopichand is likelier.

Mixed Doubles

Rohan Kapoor-Sikki Reddy, Sathish Kumar-Aadya Variyath

As in the other doubles categories, two pairs need to both be in top 8, or the highest-ranked one will qualify. Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy hold the 46th spot, while Sathish Kumar Karunakaran and Aadya Variyath are in 42nd place. And hence the two of them will most probably vie for the lone spot on offer.

Key Upcoming Tournaments

The major upcoming BWF Tour tournaments before April 28 include the Super 300 Swiss Open (March 19 to 24), the Super 300 Madrid Spain Masters (March 26 to 31) and the Badminton Asia Championships (April 9 to 14). Most of the aforementioned Indians will be in action at these tournaments, hoping to attain valuable points before the Paris Olympics verdict is announced.