Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal has become the first Indian to get top billing in Asian Badminton Championships as she has been seeded number one in women’s singles in the tournament starting at Siri Fort Stadium here from April 12.

Besides Saina, the mixed doubels pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju also became the first Indian combine to get top seeding in the continental tournament that will also be a test event for the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games here.

The draw was announced by Badminton Asia Confederation Secretary General V. K. Verma in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Three-time champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia’s is the top seed in men’s singles ahead of reigning world and Olympic champion Lin Dan of China, a release said today.

Saina, currently world number five, will start her campaign against Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk.

“Overall, I would rate it as fighting draws for Indians in men’s singles. With Taufiq and Lin Dan participating, it promises to be a very high level tournament,” Indian chief national Coach P Gopichand said.

The championship has drawn an unprecedented 257 entries.

The qualifying rounds will be played on April 12 and 13 before the main competition gets underway on April.

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