Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Numero uno! Kidambi Srikanth becomes world number 1 shuttler

Numero uno! Kidambi Srikanth becomes world number 1 shuttler

Axelsen, who was the defending champion heading into the Malaysian Open, could not defend his title since the tournament which was scheduled to begin from April 4-9 has now been postponed to June due to the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

In a proud moment, Indian badminton champion Kidambi Srikanth scripted history by becoming world number 1 in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings on Thursday.

Top seed Srikanth thrashed Sri Lankan Niluka Karunaratne 2-0 (21-10, 21-10) in just 33 minutes at the Carrara Sports Arena here. This will help Srikanth become more relaxed.

"This is a huge achievement for Srikanth as well as for Indian badminton", chief national coach Pullela Gopichand earlier said from Gold Coast, Australia. Whatever happens from here, he will always know that he was ranked as the best in the world - that he has accomplished that goal.

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Last year, he became only the fourth shuttler in the world to win all four Super Series titles - Indonesia, Australia, Denmark, and France.

Legendary Prakash Padukone was revered as the world No. 1 player during his heyday before the modern day computerised ranking system was introduced.

"I never expected Srikanth to beat Lee Ching Wei with such ease". His ascension to No 1 in the BWF rankings began during a successful 2016, in which he won two gold medals in the men's team and men's singles of the 2016 South Asian Games, followed by reaching the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics.

Srikanth enjoyed a fabulous run so far at the 21 Commonwealth games and led from the front when India won gold on Monday in the mixed-badminton event. I remember we used to lose to teams like Canada, England.

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