G Sathiyan, on Wednesday, made history by becoming the highest-ranked Indian table tennis player. His compatriot, Manika Batra, became the first Indian woman to break into the top-50 in the rankings.
Sathiyan jumped three spots to 28 in the International Table Tennis Federation world ranking for men. He was five spots ahead of senior countryman, Sharath Kamal [ranked 33], who slid from no 30.
Sharath Kamal held the previous record when he was ranked 30th.
Sathiyan had lost to Sharath Kamal in the national table tennis championship men’s singles final. But he’s been impressive over the last year as he won the Asian Games gold medal in August, upset a few higher-ranked players in the 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Austrian Open, where he reached the round of 16, in November.
His compatriot, Batra, went down in the semi-finals of the Nationals to young Archana Kamath. But she, otherwise, has enjoyed a good run over the last few months. Hence, she rose from 57th spot in August 2018 to No 47 now.
Kamal, Batra and Sathiyan apart, the Indian paddlers were ranked outside top-100. Harmeet Desai (107), Amalraj Anthony (154) and Manav Thakkar (170) were ranked below Sathiyan and Kamal.
Among women, Ayhika Mukherjee (114), Madhurika Patkar (121), Mouma Das (156) and Archana Kamath (289) were the Indians who followed Batra in the rankings.