The Indian men’s table tennis team on Tuesday achieved its best-ever ranking by moving up to the eighth spot in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings. The Indian team comprising World No. 30 G Sathiyan and World No. 36 Sharath Kamal is tied with ninth-placed Austria on 280 points but is ranked ahead of them.
G Sathiyan, who reached the pre-quarters of the ITTF World Cup last week by beating higher-ranked opponents Simon Gauzy of France and Jonathan Groth, was the highest-ranked India at world no 30.
Veteran Sharath Kamal jumped two spots to be placed at 36th while Harmeet Desai, who won the ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open championship, leapfrogged 19 places to break into the top-100 and occupy the 85th spot.
China are the expected number one in the team rankings, followed by Japan and Germany.
In the women’s rankings, Manika Batra (61) remained the top-ranked Indian followed by Ayhika Mukerjee (118) and Madhurika Patkar (124).
Meanwhile, India’s top-ranked paddler Gnanasekaran feels the next aim is to get into the top-four in the world and win an Olympic medal. “As a team, we want to get into the top 4 and win an Olympic medal,” Sathiyan said.
“All of us are doing well and this is a really good time for Indian table tennis. I feel we have the best chance of making it to the Olympics this time,” said the 30th ranked player.
India have never qualified as a team for the Olympics. The first world team qualification for the Olympics is in January next year.