New Delhi: Kidambi Srikanth added another highlight to his badminton career by claiming the top spot in the BWF world rankings on Thursday, four days after he scored a critical point in India’s 3-1 victory over Malaysia by defeating Lee Chong Wei in the Commonwealth Games mixed team final.
This could be seen as a significant career milestone for Srikanth as he was the first Indian men’s singles player to reach World No. 1 in BWF rankings with 76,895 points, surpassing Viktor Axelsen of Denmark who has 75,470 points.
“Absolutely thrilled to be ranked WORLD NUMBER 1,” Srikanth posted on his Twitter page.
Nevertheless, Axelsen will regain the World No. 1 spot next week, after the removal of total points earned from last year’s Singapore Open, in which Srikanth was the runner-up.
“I would like to thank my coach Gopi (Pullela Gopichand) Sir for believing in me and my support staff for always taking care of me.”
Besides Srikanth, India’s women’s singles player Saina Nehwal was able to top the women’s chart in 2015.
India’s badminton legend Prakash Padukone who became the first Indian men’s singles player to win the All England title in 1980, was regarded as the best player during his time. Unfortunately, the ranking system was not yet in place during that period.
Malaysia’s badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei moved down one place to No. 7 and his nemesis Lin Dan also went down a spot to world No. 8.
In women’s singles, Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan continued to hold the top spot in the BWF world rankings, exactly 2848 points ahead of World No.2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.