India’s table tennis stars Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Manika Batra scaled new heights on Tuesday when the pair became the first from the country to break into the top 5 mixed doubles world rankings.

The achievement comes at the back of the duo finishing as runners-up at the WTT Contender event in Nova Gorica, Slovenia, where they lost the final to South Korea’s Lim Jonghoon and Shin Yubin 3-0.

The pair started to compete together consistently since August last year - winning their first event together at the WTT Contender event in Budapest. Since then they’ve risen up the ladder rapidly and had broken into the top 10 within a year of pairing up.

“Breaking into the world top-5 rankings has truly been a dream come true moment. It is indeed a great milestone towards our goal of reaching the pinnacle and winning that elusive Olympic medal,” Sathiyan said in a social media post.

At the same event in Slovenia, Batra had teamed up with Archana Kamath in women’s doubles and reached the semifinals.

Batra and Kamath are currently ranked fifth in women’s doubles, a drop from the fourth place they occupied earlier.

Individually, Sathiyan is ranked 39th in men’s singles and Batra is 44th in womens’ singles - both are the highest ranked singles players in the country.