Dubai, Nov 25: Sai Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth were the only two Indian shuttlers who on Wednesday qualified for the prestigious year-ending $1 million BWF World Superseries Fils to be played at the Hamdan Sports Complex here from December 9-13.
The tourment sees the top eight players/pairs of the world compete in all the five categories of the sport — singles (men’s and women’s) and doubles (men’s, women’s and mixed). Both Sai, who had also reached the title round of this event in 2011, and Srikanth had also qualified last year.
World No.2 Sai qualified quite comfortably, finishing fifth in the Superseries women’s singles rankings. The Olympic bronze medallist clinched the India Open title in March after reaching the fil of the All England Open — both of which were Superseries events. Sai had also reached the fil of the Chi Open.
In men’s singles, Chi’s Tian Houwei, who finished seventh, missed out as only two players from a member association, in this case Chi, are eligible to contest. As compatriots, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan and reigning World Champion Chen Long qualified as No.1 and 5 respectively, Tian had to miss out.
This proved lucky for Srikanth who was able to make the list despite finishing ninth. Since Tian couldn’t qualify, the Indian was happy to grab his spot.
In women’s doubles, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponppa missed the mark by two spots as they finished 10th as India also did not see anyone qualifying from men’s and mixed doubles.
Last week’s Hong Kong Open, the fil stop in the 12-strong World Superseries circuit, was the last opportunity for the aspirants for the Dubai trip. The week’s proceedings did not see any major shake-up in the standings but some were unlucky to miss out by a few points. (IANS)