Sri Lanka’s Olympian and top seed Niluka Karunaratne starts his journey back to the top 50 in the Men’s Singles World Ranking as he stands at 75th position while the other national shuttlers are slowly building their way up.
ThePapare takes a look at the Sri Lankan shuttlers who have earned themselves a ranking in the international leaderboards and where they stand as the new calendar year starts.
01. Niluka Karunaratne – Men’s Singles 75
The 16-time national champion has the highest grading in the world circuit in the Men’s Singles. Niluka was in the 76th position in October and later reached a season high of 68th at the start of December but had to settle for the 75th position by the end of the year.
02. Dinuka Karunaratne – Men’s Singles 90
The younger sibling of Niluka, Dinuka achieved a career best ranking of 90 at the conclusion of last year after making progress in the Yonex-Sunrise Bangladesh International Challenge in December. Karunaratne made it to the quarterfinals of the competition thus giving him the opportunity to come up the ranks.
03. Sachin Dias – Men’s Singles 389
The top-seeded national player Sachin Dias had a successful stint in the last six months, climbing from 1190 to the 389th position in the world rankings. He achieved a career high in December 2016 at 384 and later dropped five places down to cement the 389th position.
04. Buweneka Goonathileka
The 20-year-old Buweneka Goonathileke sits in the 530th position having played 48 singles encounters and winning 30 out of them. The lack of international series is hindering his progress as he has competed in only three international ranking tournaments.
01. Lekha Shehani – Women’s Singles 170
Having achieved a career best of 132 during May 2016, veteran shuttler and former Youth Olympic representative, Lekha Shehani still is the highest ranked badminton player in the BWF Women’s Singles leaderboard. The last international tournament she played, however, was in April 2016 which was the Dong Feng Citroen Badminton Asia Championships resulting her downfall from 132 to 170
02. Achini Ratnasiri – Women’s Singles 219
The South Asian Games Women’s Singles silver medallist and national seed Achini Ratnasiri having played five international series for the last year takes the 219th spot in the world rankings. It was in 2012 that she recorded her highest achievement being placed 136th.
03. Thilini Hendahewa – Women’s Singles 538
The current national title winner, Thilini Hendahewa is nearing the top 500 class and registered her season best for 2016 at 524. Hendahewa has only played three international circuits and is a competitive player who could advance in the rankings this coming year.
All the above rankings are as at Thursday 5th January 2017 ahead of the 2017 Badminton calendar.