Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Saturday felicitated ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth for his “lightning victories” and chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand for his “great vision”. “Felicitated wizard of #badminton @srikidambi for his lightning victories & the new-age Dronacharya – coach P.Gopichand for his great vision,” tweeted Goel. Srikanth, who had clinched back to back titles, has entered the Top 10 of the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) Rankings. He surged to the eighth spot in rankings after lifting titles at the Australian Open Super Series and Indonesia Super Series Premier within a week’s time. The 24-year-old shuttler first defeated unseeded Kazumasa Sakai of Japan 21-11, 21-19 in the summit clash of the Indonesia Open that lasted for 36 minutes. Following the win, Srikanth swept aside Rio Olympics 2016 champion Chen Long 22-20, 21-16 in the finals of the Australia Open Super Series to claim his fourth Super Series title.
This was Srikanth’s first ever win over the Chinese in six meetings. The victory also saw him moving up to number one spot in Dubai Destination Rankings. He is now the only Indian player to make it to the top ten men’s singles rankings in the world. Srikanth had previously made it to top ten in October 2016, a few months after reaching the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics.
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With his latest wins, the 24-year-old is now the second most successful Indian badminton player in Super Series with four titles after ace women shuttler Saina Nehwal (10) and two ahead of Olympic medalist PV Sindhu (2). He is also number six on the list of men’s super-series titles winners.