Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu and the dynamic duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chiraj Shetty, who recently won men’s doubles gold medal at the Asian Games, will headline country’s 22-member contingent at the BWF Arctic Open 2023, scheduled to be held from October 10 to 15 in Vantaa, Finland.
The Arctic Open was last held in 2019 but the 2020, 2021 and 2022 editions were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The BWF Super 500 tournament returns for its 23rd edition after a three-year hiatus.
The star duo of Satwik and Chirag are the top-seeds in Finland and they will face compatriots Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjuna in the opening round. On the other hand, two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu will face old nemesis Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the opening round.
The 28-year-old Sindhu, who is struggling with her form lately and failed to win a medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou after losing in the quarter-finals, is the eighth seed in the Arctic Open 2023 women’s singles competition.
Aakarshi Kashyap is the other Indian in the women’s singles main draw while the likes of Tanya Hemnath and Malvika Bansod start from the qualifiers.
In the men’s singles, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and Priyanshu Rajawat will lead the Indian challenge. However, HS Prannoy, who clinched an Asian Games bronze medal last week, will miss out the tournament in Finland due to a back injury.
World No. 14 Lakshya, who will face Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in his opener, has been seeded sixth in the men’s singles category at the Arctic Open. On the other hand, Kidambi and Priyanshu are unseeded.
Meanwhile, three Indian pairs — Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly, Tanisha Crasto/Ashwini Ponappa and Rutuparna Panda/Swetaparna Panda — will compete in the women’s doubles event. The likes of K Sai Pratheek and Tanisha Crasto start from the mixed doubles qualifiers.
Men’s singles main draw: Lakshya Sen, Priyanshu Rajawat, Kidambi Srikanth
Men’s singles qualifiers: S Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian, Harshit Agarwal, Mithun Manjunath
Women’s singles: PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap
Women’s singles qualifiers: Tanya Hemnath, Malvika Bansod
Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila
Women’s doubles: Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly, Ashwini Ponappa/Tanisha Crasto, Rutuparna Panda/Swetaparna Panda
Mixed doubles qualifiers: K Sai Pratheek/Tanisha Crasto