Syed Modi International: Sindhu pulls out, Marin doubtful
World champion PV Sindhu has decided to skip the Syed Modi International badminton championship beginning here on November 26. World No 6 Sindhu won the singles title at the BWF World Tour Super 300 here in 2017 but pulled out of the event last year.
Besides Sindhu, 2016 Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion Carolina Marin’s participation is also doubtful. Marin made a strong comeback from a career-threatening ligament injury after eight months and defended her China Open Super 1000 title in September. However, she retired hurt in the first round against Tai Tzu Ying in China Open Super 750 this month. In her maiden appearance Syed Modi tourney in 2015, Marin had finished runner-up after losing to London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal.
“We have the confirmation of Marin’s participation here, but there is no update about her recovery from injury,” said a member of the organizing committee. “Marin’s presence would add glamour to the event, which is facing financial crunch this time,” he added.
In the absence of Sindhu and Marin, focus will be on two-time champion and world No 8 Nehwal. World no 7 China’s He Bing Jiao, the bronze medallist at the 2018 world championship in Nanjing, will be there to challenge her as the top seed in women’s singles.
Saina, who was knocked out in the first round of Hong Kong Open Super 500 last week, is seeded third behind Bingjiao and Canada’s Michelle Li. Marin and Korean teenage sensation An Se-young, who won the French Open recently, are seeded fourth and fifth. Defending champion Han Yue, who defeated Nehwal in the final last year, is seeded sixth.
In men’s section, China’s top shuttler Shi Yuqi, who finished runner-up at 2016 All England Championship and 2018 world championships, has been given the top billing. Two-time winner and defending champion Sameer Verma and another former champion Kidambi Srikanth along with B Sai Praneeth would pose a strong Indian challenge.