Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

CWG: Indian shuttlers Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth and Prannoy advance to quarters

CWG: Indian shuttlers Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth and Prannoy advance to quarters

Indian player Kidambi Srikanth replaced Viktor Axelsen of Denmark at the No. 1 slot in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings on April 12. Axelson lost 1660 points this week as he has not been playing due to his current injury and will not be able to defend his Malaysian Open championship title that he won past year.

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"This is a huge achievement for Srikanth as well as for Indian badminton", chief national coach Pullela Gopichand earlier said from Gold Coast, Australia. Srikanth has now joined Saina Nehwal to become only the second Indian to achieve the feat. The Gunthur lad 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 splendid run past year, when he won four titles. Whatever happens from here, he will always know that he was ranked as the best in the world - that he has accomplished that goal. Both Srikanth and Prannoy have reached the quarterfinals of the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2018 taking place in Gold Coast. The Commonwealth Games is on, and this year also holds the Asian Games. Srikanth, who was at World No 2 ranking, scored a 21-17, 21-14 win over veteran Chong Wei in 43 minutes to hand India a 2-0 lead. With four Super Series titles (Indonesia, Australia, Denmark and France) previous year Shrikanth achieved his career best ranking of World No. 2 in November.

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"This feat by Srikanth, coming midway through the singles competitions at the CWG, should definitely inspire not just him but also the other players to raise the bar as it augurs well for Indian badminton", said Gopi. He is also hot favourite to win the gold medal in Men's Singles event.

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