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BAI to fund 28 shuttlers for international tournaments

The Badminton Association of India (BAI), with support from REC, will fund the country’s 28 talented shuttlers for international tournaments as part of the efforts to help them improve their rankings and also provide much-needed foreign exposure, required to play in top-level international badminton tournaments.

The players include those who are ranked between No. 26 and 75 in the BWF world rankings along with top performers from the recent Senior National Championships, and those who are not part of the national camp but have already shown signs of brilliance. Reigning Abu Dhabi Masters champion Unnati Hooda and Tanvi Sharma, the silver medallist at the 2023 Badminton Asia U-17 Junior Championships, are among the 28 players across singles and doubles categories who have been chosen based on their performances across multiple tournaments. These players will be fully funded for the tournaments.

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“The BAI is committed to ensuring the young talent the much-needed support. Our partnership with REC will not only help us broad base these opportunities and give shuttlers more and more opportunities to participate in multiple international challenger events as well as Super 300s and thereby better their rankings as well as gain experience of playing against foreign players,” BAI Secretary Sanjay Mishra said in a statement on Monday.

This opportunity has also been extended to the current senior nationals singles champions Chirag Sen and Anmol Kharb as well as runners-up Tharun Mannepalli and 15-year-old Tanvi Sharma — one of the youngest finalists in the history.

The doubles national champions Suraj Goala and Pruthvi Roy, and Priya Konjengbam and Shruti Mishra have also been included.

The selected players have been given the option to choose three tournaments, including two Super 300 events — the Orleans Masters and Swiss Open — from a total of eight tournaments, for which BAI will extend complete financial support to each of the shuttlers.

The list of players with rankings in brackets

Men’s singles: Sathish Kumar Karunakaran (51), S. Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian ( 71), Sameer Verma (74), Chirag Sen (Senior Nationals champion), Tharun Mannepalli (Sr Nationals runner-up).

Doubles: Hariharan Amsakarunan & Ruban Kumar Rethinasabapathi (70), P.S Ravikrishna & Sankar Prasad Udayakunar (75), Suraj Goala & Pruthvi Krishnamurthy Roy (Senior nationals champions).

Women’s singles: Aakarshi Kashyap (40), Malvika Bansod (52), Unnati Hooda (56), Tanya Hemanth (69), Tasnim Mir (73), Imad Farooqui Samiya (74), Anmol Kharb (Senior national champion), Tanvi Sharma (Senior national runner-up).

Doubles: K. Ashwini Bhat & Shikha Gautam (49), Rutaparna Panda & Swetaparna Panda (52), Simran Singh & Ritika Thaker (63), Priya Konjengbam & Shruti Mishra (Senior national champions).

Mixed doubles: Sathish Kumar Karunakaran & Aadya Variyath (64).

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