NEW DELHI: The darling of Indian badminton and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist PV Sindhu has scaled a new high in her career, moving to No 2 in the world rankings for women’s badminton.
Sindhu’s ascension from fifth to second place was confirmed on Thursday, a day after she exited in the first round of the Malaysia Open Super Series.
What propelled Sindhu up three places in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings was winning her first India Open Superseries title last Sunday, beating her Rio Olympics rival Carolina Marin. Sindhu entered the India Open ranked fifth, and beat Marin to make it two wins in a row over the Spanish shuttler following her victory during the Dubai Masters in December.
Speaking to media, Sindhu’s Arjuna awardee father, PV Ramana said: “I am glad that she has reached this spot. It is the result of everybody’s hard work. But the hard work has to continue. Sindhu knows that too and is determined to work hard and get better. We are also grateful for the love and affection of the countrymen. I also want to thank the press and media for their continuous support.”
Sindhu was sensational in 2016, winning the biggest prize in the history of Indian badminton – an Olympic silver, to go past Saina Nehwal’s bronze five years ago in London – and claimed her first China Open Super Series and the Malaysia Masters, apart from finishing second at the Hong Kong Super Series.
Last month in Mumbai, she also padded her trophy collection by receiving two awards at the Mahindra Scorpio Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA), including the top prize of Sportsperson of the Year.
Saina remains India’s sole shuttler to scale the heights of No 1 in the BWF rankings. The 2012 London Games medalist has slipped one spot to ninth place in the latest rankings.