Chennai shuttler Sankar Muthusamy, on Tuesday, became the junior World No. 1, according to the updated BWF World junior men’s singles rankings.
His long-time coach Aravindan Samiappan took to social media to register his exhilaration. “On top of the world! Feeling great!” he said over phone, reacting to the news.
“I feel very happy. It can be said that it (No. 1 ranking) is a good break (for his career)! And, of course, No. 1 in the selection trials. So, it’s a combined good feeling,” Sankar said.
It was double delight for him.
On Monday, Sankar was also selected to represent India in the BWF World Junior Championships to be held in Spain in October. He had topped his group (u-19) in the National selection trials in Raipur.
“We have to get to the World Junior championships and justify our position. He has a decent chance. The competition will be very intense, but he also has a fair chance of winning a medal,” said the coach.
It was the COVID-19 induced lockdown that brought the “magical” number into their focus.
“When he got into the u-19 circuit (Sankar is 18 now), the plan was to go and play the seniors. Then, corona happened. If it hadn’t happened, he would never have played juniors. BWF chose to freeze the points at that time. So, it was then, that we got to know that he had a chance. We understood that if he wins two or three junior tournaments, he could become World No. 1. Then, it became a target. No. 1 is a magical number, right?
He played three (junior) tournaments and won two - Russian Open (Junior White Nights International Series), Iran Junior International Series. So, that had an influence on his ranking points,” said Aravindan.
He added that getting Sankar into the top-100 in the senior world rankings by the year-end was also an immediate aim.