Former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat and London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal head the men’s and women’s seedings at the $120,000 Indian Grand Prix gold badminton championship to be held at Lucknow later this month.

P. Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram are the men’s second and fourth seeds, while former National champion P.V. Sindhu is seeded second among women.

The absence of players from China has left the field open for Indonesian, Indian and Thai shuttlers in the men’s singles.

As per the seedings, India has drawn a blank in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles sections, primarily because of G. Jwala’s absence.

In men’s doubles, Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu are seeded seventh, one spot ahead of Pranav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar. Kashyap is set to open his campaign against 178th-ranked Korean Young Woong Ha and Ajay faces Russia’s Nikita Khakinov, ranked 147.

Saina meets 166th-ranked Ksenia Polikarpova (Russia) and Sindhu plays 96th-ranked Li Lian Yang (Malaysia) in their opening matches.

The championship, dedicated to the memory of Syed Modi and K.L. Garg, commences on December 18.

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