New junior World No.1 Sankar wants to make it big at senior level | Badminton News – Times of India
HYDERABAD: A week after Indian shuttlers dominated the Commonwealth Games, there is a new junior world No.1 from another part of India in Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian. The Chennai lad became the new World No.1 in the boys singles category according to the latest rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Tuesday.
Sankar is the first shuttler from Tamil Nadu to achieve this feat and fourth Indian boy after Aditya Joshi (Madhya Pradesh) in 2014, Siril Verma of Telangana in 2016 and Lakshya Sen from Uttarakhand in 2017. Among them only Lakshya Sen went on to make it big in the senior circuit..
Sankar benefited from BWF’s decision to defreeze the ranking points this August. Ranking points were frozen after the All England Championships in March 2020 due to the pandemic situation.
Excited after topping the rankings, Sankar told ToI that he was expecting this. “I am thrilled to have become No.1 at the junior level. We are actually expecting this as BWF will take three tournaments from the senior category to decide the rankings,” said Sankar who was No.2 a few weeks back.
With Tasnim Mir of Gujarat already the No.1 in the junior girls category, there are two No.1s from India at the junior level. Only Saina Nehwal in 2015 and Kidambi Srikanth in 2018 achieved this feat in the senior category. Despite her splendid achievements, where she had won almost everything in the world except the Olympic gold, PV Sindhu could reach only upto to the No.2 rank.
Eighteen year-old Sankar trains at the Fireball Badminton Academy in Chennai under Aravindan Samiappan. In fact, Aravindan turned as the personal coach for Sankar about 10 years back. The teen started learning the nuances of the game at Fireball in 2009.
Ever since he started competing in international tournaments, Sankar impressed with his performances. He won the Junior White Nights tournament in Russia in 2021 and triumphed at the Iran Junior International Series the same year. He finished runner-up to Varun Kapur, another promising shuttler, at the Uganda International Tournament.
Sankar is confident of making a good impact at the senior level as well. His first target is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics. “My aim is to compete in the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. I know it is difficult but I will work hard to achieve that,” said Sankar. Only two Indians will qualify in men’s singles if they are in the top-16 of the world rankings. To realise this dream Sankar needs to be in the same league as Lakshya, Srikanth, HS Prannoy and Sai Praneesh. Lakshya could be the inspiration for Sankar as he became the top Indian shuttler within two years of entering into the senior circuit.
The Tamil Nadu boy is a huge fan of multiple world and Olympic champion Lin Dan of China. “I am a big fan of Lin Dan. I love his style and I want to play him,” said Sankar, who is also a southpaw like Lin Dan.
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