India eyes to win its maiden Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships

The Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships 2023 scheduled to be held in Dubai, will be played from February 14 to 19 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre. Seventeen countries from Asia will be participating in the third edition of the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships. All teams are getting ready to fight the battle strong and claim the continental honor title. The teams are divided into four groups and the teams grabbing the top two spots in each Group will be making it to the quarterfinals. Each tie will feature five matches, two singles and three doubles match.

The Asia tournament started in 2017 and Japan won the trophy in the inaugural edition. China is the defending champion after they won the title in 2019. The 2021 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And this time, India eyes to win its maiden title as it has a star-studded team. In the third edition, India has been clubbed with Commonwealth Games gold medalists Malaysia, UAE, and Kazakhstan in Group B in the draw. India will play its first Group B match on February 14 against Kazakhstan, followed by clashes against UAE and Malaysia on February 15 and February 16, respectively.

The Indian team is spearheaded by two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu. Sindhu ranked world no.7 will lead India in the women’s singles. Joining Sindhu in the women’s singles will be world No.32 Aakarshi Kashyap, who won the Bangladesh International Challenge in December. She also made the quarter-finals at CWG 2022. In women’s doubles, India has the 2022 CWG bronze medalist duo of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly, while Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Castro will be the only entry in mixed doubles.

Thomas Cup-winning stars HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen will be leading the Indian challenge in men’s singles. The 21-year-old Sen had an impressive 2022 which saw him winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. French Open champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were expected to shoulder the responsibility in the men’s doubles. But Rankireddy has pulled out due to a hip injury. So, Chirag will be pairing up with Dhruv Kapila. Krishna Prasad Garga and Vishnuvardhan Goud will form the second men’s doubles pairing.

The Indian badminton team was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the first edition held in 2017. India failed to go past the group stage in the last edition of the Asian Mixed Team Championship.