If rankings in the world sport are anything to go by, Indian ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth added another laurel to his loaded hat as he stormed his way into the top rung of BWF men’s ranking, replacing Denmark’s Viktor Axelson from the elite list.
Following the BWF rankings update, Srikanth became the first Indian male badminton player to clinch the top spot in men singles, with 76,895 points, in the modern ranking system era. In the process, Srikanth joined Saina Nehwal, who had achieved a similar feat two years ago by becoming the first Indian women player to get the number one ranking.
Elated with his performance, Srikanth, on April 12 tweeted, “Absolutely thrilled to be ranked world no 1. I would like to thank my coach Gopi Sir for believing in me and my support staff for always taking care of me. Through my journey I have received immense support from the Government of India, Sports Authority of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh. My sponsors who believed in me and supported me throughout, Yonex, Bank of Baroda, Bridgestone and ITM University. Lastly all my fans, thank you for being their in my ups and downs.”
Current world champion, Victor Axelson, lost nearly 1660 points after he could not defend his Malaysian Open title, paving way for the new world number one . The Malaysian Open has now been postponed to June 26 – July 1 due to ongoing Commonwealth Games. The 25-year-old, currently in Gold Coast for the Commonwealth games, staggering performance in the Super Series titles also helped him with the rating points, making him a strong contender for the top notch. He had won four Super Series titles – Indonesia, Australia, France and Denmark– last year after winning two gold in the men’s team and men’s singles in 2016 South Asian Games.