Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal,who earned India its first badminton medal at the Olympics winning a bronze at London Games,today regained her fourth position in women’s world rankings released today.
The 22-year-old Hyderabadi had clinched the bronze in the women’s singles after her opponent Xin Wang conceded the third-place play-off match at the Wembley Arena in London.
Saina swapped places with Chinese Shixian Wang,who missed out of a London berth after Olympic champion Li Xuerui made a phenomenal run to edge past her to the world number three position in May. Only three players from a country qualify for the Olympics.
The Indian has 76331.7444 points to her kitty,300 more than Shixian.
Saina was ranked fifth in the world since March but her highest ranking remains the second position that she had achieved after winning a hat-trick of tournaments India Open Grand Prix,Singapore Super Series and Indonesia Super Series — in 2010.
The Haryana-born shuttler had slipped to the number three position in the subsequent months. She last held the world number two position after wining the Hong Kong Super Series in 2010.
Last year,Saina won only one event — Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold — and reached finals in three tournaments Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold,Indonesia Open,World Superseries Finals — and it reflected in her ranking as she slipped to sixth,before eventually settling for fifth place.
P Kashyap,who became the first Indian male shuttler to reach the quarterfinals of Olympics in London,improved two places to reach a career-best ranking of 19th spot.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa,who were unlucky to miss out of a quarterfinal berth at the London Games,jumped three places to reach the 17th spot.
Jwala and V Diju,who failed to win a single match at London Games,retained their 13th spot in the mixed doubles category.