Sai Nehwal becoming the first Indian woman shuttler to secure the number one spot in world rankings is great news for sports lovers in the country. She is the second Indian overall to be world number one after Prakash Padukone reigned as numero uno in men’s badminton way back in 1980. The icing on the cake is her maiden India Open Super Series crown, which she won in New Delhi on Sunday by defeating former World Champion Ratchanok Intanon. The London Olympic bronze medalist has won 14 intertiol titles till date, becoming the first Indian woman to make the fils of the All England Championships. That Sai is presently in irresistible form became apparent after she triumphed at the Chi Open Premier last year. This is significant, considering that Sai along with World Championship bronze medalist PV Sindhu have been regularly beating top Chinese players. Indian men shuttlers too are not far behind. Kidambi Srikanth, currently the highest ranked Indian men’s player with world ranking of fourth, clinched the men’s singles title at the India Open Super Series tourment on Sunday. Srikanth had also created history by winning the Chi Open Premier men’s crown last year, beating badminton legend Lin Dan in the fil round. While Parupalli Kashyap is off-colour lately, he too has kept the country’s flag flying by winning the men’s badminton gold in Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year, as well as reaching the quarter-fils of men’s singles at London Olympics. A crop of fine shuttlers are coming up in badminton academies around the country, most notably from those of P Gopichand and K Vimal Kumar. Surely playing alongside top intertiol shuttlers like Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat and Caroli Marin in the Indian Badminton League must be doing domestic shuttlers a world of good.
Bravo Indian Shuttlers