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Saina Nehwal, Taufiq Hidayat top seeds in India Grand Prix Gold badminton

Posted on Dec 17, 09:45PM | IBNS

World No.3 and London Games bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and former Olympic champion Taufiq Hidayat are the top draws in the USD 120,000 KL Garg-Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championship beginning here Tuesday.

The other star attractions of the six-day championship are 2010 CWG women's doubles gold medalist Ashwini Ponnappa, London Olympics quarter-finalist Parupalli Kashyap, leading Indian players Ajay Jayram and Saurabh Verma, India's teenage sensation P.V. Sindhu in the women's section, and Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto and Julfikli Julfadili.

Overall, 150 shuttlers from 12 countries will clash for the top honours in singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories.

The second-seeded Kashyap, who is returning to action after an injury said, "I'm very excited and looking forward to see how I measure up here after my layoff due to injury. I hope to pick up some good points here and return to form on a high note. This is a prestigious tournament for all the Indian players."

BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta said, "The India Grand Prix Gold Championship is increasingly becoming a major draw for international players. I'm confident our players will benefit hugely with this opportunity to play against some big stars and formidable internationals."

Saina has been given the top billing in the women's singles, followed by Sindhu in second place, while the flamboyant Hidayat leads the men's seedings with Kashyap second.

The first day of the tournament will witness the qualifying rounds Tuesday, with the main draw commencing the following day.