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China's Shi Yuqi becomes new World No. 1 in BWF men's singles

Published at :June 13, 2024 at 6:03 PM
Modified at :June 13, 2024 at 6:04 PM
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(Courtesy : BAI)

Ansh Garg

Viktor Axelsen dropped to second place in after 132 weeks at the top.

China’s Shi Yuqi began his 2024 season ranked sixth in the world, but his exceptional performance this year has catapulted him to the top. Shi claimed the prestigious BWF Super 1000 Indonesia Open title last week, earning enough points to surpass Viktor Axelsen, who had maintained the world number one position for 132 consecutive weeks.

This year, Shi has triumphed in four BWF World Tour tournaments and finished as a runner-up in one. His impressive journey started with the Malaysia Open in January, where he defeated then-world number one Viktor Axelsen in the semifinals. However, he finished as the runner-up, losing to Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in the final.

In the following week, Shi dominated the India Open Super 750, not dropping a single set after the first round and clinching the title by defeating Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu in the final.

ALSO READ: Shi Yuqi’s career in numbers: Records, stats, and titles

Shi, now the world number one, withdrew from the Indonesia Masters in late January. He returned to competition in March at the French Open, where he comfortably defeated reigning world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn from Thailand in the final in straight sets to win the title.

At the All England Open the following week, Shi retired in the quarterfinals against Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie after losing the first game 21-12. The two faced off again in the Badminton Asia Championships in April, where Shi lost to Christie in a fierce three-set semifinal battle.

Shi’s stellar year continued with the Thomas Cup in May, where he won all six of his matches and led his team to victory, defeating Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the finals. He then claimed the Singapore Open title in June by defeating compatriot Li Shi Feng in the final.

His most recent triumph came at the Indonesia Open, where he defeated Anders Antonsen, securing his ascent to the number one spot in the world rankings. Shi Yuqi now boasts an impressive 102,415 points this year, surpassing Viktor Axelsen who has 96,470 points.

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