Lausanne [Switzerland], November 8 (ANI): Table Tennis stars Manika Batra and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan created history on Tuesday as they became the first Indian mixed doubles pair to enter the top five of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Rankings.
The duo accomplished this landmark after they made it to the final of the WTT Contender event held in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. They lost by 0-3 to South Korea's Lim Jonghoon and Shin Yubin in the final, as per Olympics.com.
But they ended up getting 280 rating points for their performances in the tournament and with this, they overtook Hong Kong's Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Doo Hoi Kem and her partner Wong Chun-ting, a two-time world championship bronze medal-winner to climb to the number five spot.
Previously in August last year, Manika and Gnanasekaran became the first Indian table tennis players to win a WTT Contender title after defeating the Hungarian team of Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz in Budapest. They later became the first Indian mixed doubles pair to break into top 15 of world rankings.
Following this, they broke into the top 10 earlier in March this year. They delivered good performances to make it through the final of WTT Contender Doha, where they were defeated by the world number 1 pair of Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching of Chinese Taipei.
"Breaking into the world top-5 rankings has truly been a dream come true moment," Sathiyan expressed in his social media post.
"It is indeed a great milestone towards our goal of reaching the pinnacle and winning that elusive Olympic medal," he added.
Both are also India's top-ranked singles players, with Batra being world number 44 in women's singles category while Sathiyan is 39th in the men's singles category. Commonwealth Games 2022 champion Sharath Kamal is at 44th.
In women's doubles, Batra and her partner Archana Girish Kamath retained their number five position while at number 29, Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar are India's best-ranked men's doubles pair. (ANI)