Indian badminton star and Hyderabad’s pride Kidambi Srikanth on Thursday took the top spot as world No. 1 in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings. The ace shuttler is the first Indian man to do so after he displaced Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen to get to the top spot. Axelsen lost at least 1660 points because he could not defend his Malaysian Open title because of scheduling issues. 25-year old Srikanth currently has 76,895 points.
Saina Nehwal, in 2015, had become the first Indian to climb atop the world rankings after winning the India Open. “This is a huge achievement for Srikanth as well as for Indian badminton,” chief national coach Pullela Gopichand said.
Srikanth has been enjoying a brilliant run of form since 2013. He almost won the World No.1 title last year after he clinched four Super Series titles (in Indonesia, Australia, Denmark, France). It was in November 2017 that Srikanth reached his career best position World No. 2 and has been waiting since then for this day. Srikanth played a major role in helping India win the gold medal in the mixed-team event at the Commonwealth Games on Monday. He defeated world No.1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. It is also a major achievement for coach Pullela Gopichand, who has overseen the rise of Saina Nehwal, Srikanth and PV Sindhu at his academy in Hyderabad.
Born in Guntur, Srikanth recently received the country’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri, from President Ram Nath Kovind. He says, he isn’t done yet and adds “Target is to do India proud at Tokyo Olympics”. Congratulations again and way to go Srikanth. Thanks for making us Proud!
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