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Sreeja Akula becomes India's new No. 1 paddler, surpasses Manika Batra in world rankings

Published at :April 23, 2024 at 5:05 PM
Modified at :April 23, 2024 at 7:37 PM
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(Courtesy : Hindustan Times)

Shashank Tripathi

Sreeja Akula has achieved her career-best world ranking of 38.

2022 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sreeja Akula has surpassed Manika Batra in the world rankings to become India’s new No. 1 paddler in women’s singles as of Tuesday, April 23.

Akula has achieved a career-best ranking of 38, while India’s former No. 1 Manika Batra has dropped two spots to 39th in the women’s singles category.

Sreeja Akula is enjoying a breakthrough year, having already won the WTT Feeder Corpus Christi and WTT Feeder Beirut II titles.

Additionally, Akula clinched a gold medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games in the mixed doubles event, partnering with Sharath Kamal to defeat Malaysia’s Choong Javen and Karen Lyne.

Meanwhile, in recent months, Manika Batra has shifted her focus from women’s singles to mixed doubles, teaming up with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran. However, the Indian pair failed to secure a spot at the upcoming Paris Olympics following their quarterfinal loss at the World Mixed Doubles Table Tennis Olympic Qualification tournament earlier this month.

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Batra also did not participate in the feeder tournaments during this period, leading to Sreeja Akula overtaking her in the women’s singles rankings. Both Indian paddlers are now gearing up for the Saudi Smash, scheduled to take place from May 4 to 11 in Saudi Arabia.

Talking about the men’s singles category, Sharath Kamal is currently ranked 37th in the world, while Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is on the 61st rank followed by Harmeet Desai at 64. Apart from Kamal, the second spot in the men’s singles division at the 2024 Paris Olympics will be decided between Sathiyan and Desai.

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