India's Mouma Das and Manika Batra become highest ranked doubles paddlers amongst Commonwealth nations
What's the story?
Indian star table tennis duo of Mouma Das and Manika Batra reached a world ranking of 12 in the latest ITTF rankings which is the best among 28 Commonwealth countries that play the sport on the big stages.
In case you didn't know...
In 2017, they made history when they became the first ever doubles duo to enter the last eight of an ITTF World Tours event. The event in Czech Republic was special for India as they got the better of top seeds Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato in the pre-quarterfinal and defeated Germany's Chantal Mantz and Yuan Wan in the quarterfinals.
Mouma, 33, and Manika, 21, had also a great run at the World Table Tennis Championships in June, 2017 where they lost against fourth-seeded Chinese duo Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen in the women’s doubles quarterfinals. The star duo has also reached the quarter-finals of the Bulgaria Open.
The heart of the matter
This is the first time that any Indian doubles pair has reached the ranking of 12, which puts Mouma and Manika at the top among all Commonwealth nations in the world.
In men's singles rankings, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is the highest ranked Indian at 49 by jumping 19 places from last year's 68, while Achanta Sharath Kamal climbed up eleven places to reach 51 in the ITTF rankings.
Whether the duo will build upon their stellar performances from the last year into the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, is to be eagerly awaited. With the improved rankings, expectations are bound to increase on them.
Both Mouma Das and Manika Batra have indeed been on a terrific run of form since last year. Their good showing gives hope to a lot of Indians for more medals in the future tournaments to come. Hopefully, with their conquests on the table, they will go on to inspire a new generation of paddlers as well.