Indian shuttlers created history on Thursday as the latest world rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has four players from the country inside the top 10 for the first time ever. Srikanth Kidambi and PV Sindhu are at the third position in men’s singles and women’s singles respectively. Similarly, HS Prannoy and Saina Nehwal are placed at the 10th position in their respective categories.
Feat made possible by Saina’s rise
This incredible feat was made possible after the former World No. 1 Nehwal jumped a spot to break back into the top 10 for the first time in six months. She was last inside the elite bracket in the 25th May rankings.
Saina made it to the second round of the China Open last week which was one round better than her 2016 performance. It enabled her to accumulate 4320 points that took her tally to 56160 in this week’s rankings, thus allowing her to climb her way back.
Saina also hugely benefitted from Sun Yu’s fall in the rankings. The lanky Chinese, who was a runner-up at Fuzhou in 2016, failed to play in the 2017 edition due to an injury. That badly affected her rankings and she plummeted four spots to 11th, just below the Indian.
Prannoy broke into top 10 last week
National champion HS Prannoy, who is in the middle of his career-best season, broke into the top 10 for the first time only last week to join his friend and training partner, Srikanth Kidambi. It was the first time since October, 2015 that two Indians were in the top 10 of the men’s singles rankings. It was the Commonwealth Games champion, Parupalli Kashyap who gave Srikanth company two years ago until injury struck him.
Srikanth, who has had a fabulous season, was even in contention for the World No. 1 ranking after winning an astonishing four Superseries titles in 2017. But after opting to rest on conclusion of the Senior National Championships, chances are now all but over for the Guntur-born ace.
This latest accomplishment in the rankings is yet another feather in the cap for Indian badminton in a year that has been historic in every way. Apart from Srikanth’s rampage on the Tour, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal made it sure that India brought home more than one medal from the World Championships for the first time ever.
The men’s singles discipline has overshadowed the star women’s shuttlers of the country with their fantastic consistency and even doubles players are taking babysteps to improve and shine on the world stage. With such a string of good results throughout the season, one can only hope that the trajectory for Indian badminton keeps rising further.