Five shuttlers will represent India in four events at the London Olympics. After one year and 110 tournaments the world rankings were frozen on Thursday. The India Open Super Series was the last event whose points were taken into consideration.
As expected, Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap made the cut in singles while Jwala Gutta will compete in two categories - with Ashwini Ponappa in women's doubles and with V Diju in mixed doubles.
This is the first time that India have qualified for Olympics doubles competition. Vimal Kumar and Dipankar Bhattacharjee played in doubles in the 1992 Barcelona Games, but they had made the cut in singles and were given the entry for doubles as well.
It is also the first time that a contingent of five shuttlers will represent India in the Olympics.
The Indian players came up with some good performance in the India Open Super Series to firm up their qualification. Kashyap, who reached the semifinals in New Delhi, rode on his luck and some good form to beat Ajay Jayaram in the race to the Olympics.
Kashyap defeated Boonsak Ponsana in a thriller in the prequarterfinals before he got a walkover from Chinese world No. 4 Chen Jin that saw him through. Kashyap has jumped six places to become world No. 24 and is now ahead of Jayaram by two spots.
Jayaram, who was India's top singles player before India Open, lost to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in the second round. "The feeling is yet to sink in. India Open turned out to be quite dramatic for me," Kashyap told Mail Today.
"I spoke to Jayaram, but we did not discuss the Olympic qualification. Had I been at his place I would have also felt bad. This is a huge opportunity for me to represent the country in the Olympics and I am looking forward to give my best," he said.
Commonwealth Games champion Jwala and Ashwini, who reached the quarter- finals last week, climbed four places and are now ranked 16th. In the Olympic qualification list, they are at 12th position. Sixteen pairs will compete in doubles.
The mixed doubles pair - Jwala and Diju - is ranked 14th.
"It's really exciting to know that we have finally qualified. It has been one year's hard work. Now we will have to prepare well for the Olympics and give our best shot," Jwala said.
Saina's qualification was never in doubt. The world No. 5 crashed out of the India Open in the second round losing to South Korean Youn Joo Bae. Saina is considered India's best prospect to win a medal.
In men's doubles, Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas have been kept as the second reserve pair. England's Andrew Ellis and Chris Adcock are the first reserve combination.
China got a maximum of three entries in singles on account of three of their players among top-four. In men's singles, Lin Dan, Chen Long and Chen Jin, is ranked from the first to fourth in the world rankings.
In the women's rankings, Yihan Wang, Xin Wang Shixian Wang and Li Xuerui are the top four players in the world. In such a case, the country can pick their entries. Xuerui is in hot form as she has won three back-to-back tournaments, including the All England, and is expected to get the nod.