Big ranking boost to Indian paddlers: Harmeet jumps 14 places, Sharath Kamal 12; Shamini gains 45 spots

Achanta Sharath Kamal 26New Delhi: The gold-winning performances of the Indian teams at the recent Perfect World Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur have done a world of good, in terms of ranking, to the paddlers individually.

According to the latest ITTF rankings, Harmeet Desai and Achanta Sharath Kamal have benefited the most, jumping 14 and 12 places, respectively. Both G. Sathiyan and Soumyajit Ghosh, too, have gained—seven and six places—more than marginally.

However, the biggest gainer of them all were the women players with K. Shamini gaining 45 spots and Manika Batra 26, followed by Mouma Das, 15 places.

Prior to the world championships, Harmeet was at 130 and after his sterling performances, particularly against Brazil in the Second Division final that fetched gold to India, the Indian is currently ranked at No. 116 while Sharath, from No. 69, has reached No. 59. The ace Indian had touched his peak just after the Suzhou world championships (individuals) last year to be at No. 32. But a hip injury forced him out of the worlds after he had reached the pre-quarterfinals.

Though Ghosh was a part and parcel in India’s regular scheme of things at the Malaysian capital, he has had a mixed bag and it reflected in a mere six-place jump from 89 to 83. However, Sathiyan who played just a couple matches with an all-win record is ranked 153. He was at 160 just before the championships.

But the only surprising aberration was national champion Anthony Amalraj. He did play his role, winning a few and losing a few, and contributed as much as he could to help India qualify for the Champions Division. Going into the championships, Amalraj was ranked 186 but finds himself at 197 when ITTF released its fresh ranking list.

On the distaff side, the roles of Shamini and Manika were vital in the ultimate analysis as India notched up eight wins on the trot during the championships which culminated in team gold and it securing a Champions Division place in the next world championships in 2018.

Reigning national champion Manika, from 160 has reached 134 while Shamini, with a gain of 45 places, has broken into the 200 bracket to be at 183 from 228. Veteran Mouma, though faced the toughest opening battles resulting in a somewhat mixed results, is just behind Manika at No. 151. She was ranked166 when the championships opened.

Both Madhurika Patkar (237) and Pooja Sahasrabuddhe (319)—the two formed part of the Indian squad at Kuala Lumpur—were better placed at Nos. 232 and 309, respectively, before the event.