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Gopichand not eligible

New Delhi: Pullela Gopichand will not be able to lead the Indian challenge at the world badmintonmeet to be held from May 12-18 in Birmingham due to the change in the qualification rules this year.

Under the new format, there would be a limited draw of 64 in each event with the International Badminton Federation (IBF) determining the entry of the player on the basis of continental representation and world ranking as on February 20, 2003.

Gopichand, who skipped a number of international meets including the All-England meet this year due to a knee injury, has slipped to 117 in world rankings and is thus not eligible.

India will be represented by Nikhil Kanetkar and Abhinn Shyam Gupta and Aparna Popat in singles. V. Diju/Sanave Thomas, Jaseel Ismail/Jaison Zavier are the entries in menís doubles with Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien in womenís. (PTI)

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