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Srikanth rises to World No. 1 ranking

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Srikanth today became the first Indian male shuttler to achieve the world number one ranking in the World Federation (BWF) chart released today.

Legendary Prakash Padukone was revered as the world number one during his hey days before the modern day computerised ranking system was introduced.

Srikanth thus became only the second Indian after Saina Nehwal, who had occupied the women's top spot in 2015, to achieve the feat, following his consistent run last year, when he won four titles to be also bestowed with the Padma Shri award.

"I'm definitely delighted to have achieved the World No. 1 ranking for the first time, and to become the first Indian man after Prakash sir to achieve this," said Srikanth, who trains at the

"It's a testament to the hard work of Gopi sir, my family, my other coaches and support staff, my team GoSports Foundation, my sponsors, and everyone else who has believed in me over the years."

Srikanth's meteoric rise coincided with world lay-off as the Danish star, forced to spend time off the court, slipped one place to second spot after failing to defend his title that he had clinched in April last year.

After retiring from Masters in January due to an ankle injury, Axelsen was forced to withdraw from Open, the All England Championship, as he had to undergo on his foot.

The time away from the court reflected on his ranking as he lost 1,660 points from his aggregate of 77,130 to slip to 75,470 as Srikanth held the number one spot with a total of 76,895 points.

Srikanth, who had clinched titles at Indonesia, Australia, and last year, rose to greater heights after he dispatched three-time Olympic silver medallist in straight games in the crucial mixed team final to earn a historic gold at the ongoing

"It's been a great year, but I have many more goals, and right now, my focus is on coming good at the big events and achieving many more milestones. is on, and this year also holds the Asian Games," the 25-year-old Indian said.

"My target is also to do my country proud at the Tokyo in two years' time. I thank everyone for believing in me, and hope to inspire many other Indians to keep striving in their pursuit of excellence," added Srikanth, who had stunned legendary to claim his maiden Super Series title at

Praising Srikanth, Association of (BAI) said: It is a great thing for Indian and I believe Srikanth's wonderful achievement will motivate other players to perform well and aim to go up higher on the rankings.

"I would like to congratulate him and believe that he will continue inspire the generations to come, he said.

Among other Indians, Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu, who was sporadically ranked number two, is currently at third spot, while Saina is currently at the 12th place.

H S Prannoy, meanwhile, improved a place to occupy 11th spot.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 16:10 IST