Rio Olympics silver medalist Pusarla Venkata Sindhu became the second Indian women to feature in the top five of the women’s singles world rankings. The ace shuttler, who secured a position in the top ten in 2013, attained her career-best of No. 5 in the rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Thursday.
Sindhu bagged 69,399 points to eclipse Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi (68,149) to secure the fifth spot. Former world number one Saina Nehwal is the only fellow Indian woman to achieve such a coup, albeit she stays put at No. 9 this year. Tai Tzu Ying, from China, continues to top the rankings, while gold medalist Spaniard Carolina Marin, the only non-Asian in the top ten, was second.
While Nehwal had a rather disappointing 2016 as a result of her problems with an injury on her knee, Sindhu enjoyed her best run ever in the time gone by. The Hyderabad player started 2016 at No. 12; she then moved up to No. 6 by the end of December owing to her great performance in Rio and for winning the 2016 Chinese Open Super Series Premier in November. She also reached the finals of Hong Kong open and then won the 2017 Syed Modi International Badminton Championship.
Sindhu expressed her delight of achieving the feat and said the No.1 rank remains her goal. She intends to move further up and secure the No. 3 by the end of this year.
In men’s singles, Ajay Jayaram is the best-placed Indian at No. 18, while K Srikanth and H S Prannoy are at the 21st and 23rd spots respectively.