Srikanth recently guested on Times of India’s Sportscast sports podcast and talks about his badminton journey so far, the support of his family, the roller coaster ride he’s had since five years. 2018, coming soon The game of commonwealth and more.
“Since 2018, there have been a lot of ups and downs – there were a lot of highs and there were a lot of lows. 2018, after a very good 2017 we won the gold medal at CWG where I also won the silver medal (single) and became number one in the world then the Asian Games – I got injured after that – 2019, the qualifying period begins. By the end of 2019, I was really starting to play well (back). I played the semi-final of the Super Series and then in 2020 I played the semi-final and had good performances, but then Covid-19 happened and Olympic pushed to 2021. Again in 2021 I got off to a great start but then the tournaments got canceled and I couldn’t qualify for the Olympics – that’s all the lowest I could get. experienced. But since September (2021), since the tournaments resumed and from the moment I started playing tournaments again, I gradually started to play well. I started with a couple of quarter-finals and semi-finals, then the World Championship final (silver) and then the Thomas Cup championship – it was a steady chart that I felt and That’s always a good thing I think, because it shows that you’re Srikanth Kidambi speaking on TOI Sportscast.
Although his world rating is currently -11, Srikanth is considered a player who in his day is capable of beating any player in the world regardless of rank etc., Srikanth hit a new high in his career last year when he became the first Indian male athlete to reach a World Championship final. He went on to win silver.
And then his victory over the higher ranked Jonatan Christie in the Thomas Cup final helped India win their first championship in the prestigious team tournament, beating 14-time champion Indonesia with 3-0 in the final. Srikanth was the captain of the Indian team and went undefeated in the tournament.
So where does he feel his game now stands? Does he feel he can push new boundaries?
“I feel that I am getting better. I feel that I can play the way I want and I still believe I can get better from here. I have the 2024 Olympics on my mind, so from here on I feel I still have a very long way to go, I feel like I can improve. So I’m just trying to be consistent, work on myself and try to get better with each training session (practice) and do well in the big games. Unfortunately, the Asian Games have been postponed, but there is this year’s CWG and World Championships. I also really want to do well at the 2024 Olympics in Paris,” the former world No. 1 added on TOI Sportscast.
Of course, an Olympic medal is conceivably Srikanth’s ultimate goal, especially since he has missed his flight to Tokyo after multiple events were cancelled, which affected his chances of qualifying. his for the last time. In Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, India has two major potential medal prospects in the men’s singles draw at the next edition in 2024 in Paris. Srikanth will of course be hopeful and work very hard to ensure that the stable chart he is working on doesn’t drop when he sees his first Olympic medal.
The next edition of the Commonwealth Games will kick off on the 28th of this month in Birmingham and Srikanth has said earlier that India has the potential this time to win all the gold medals in the events. In the last run of the Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, Srikanth won the men’s singles silver medal and was also part of the team that won the mixed gold medal. Overall, India came back from the 2018 tournament with 2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medals.
(Photo by Robertus Pudyanto / Getty Images)
29-year-old Srikanth liked what he saw when he went through the list of Indian badminton players who will be traveling to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. The Indian team selected for the Olympics has the likes of Srikanth, PV SindhuLakshya Sen, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankedlydy, Ashwini Ponnappa, Gayatri Gopichand among others.
“I definitely think this team (current India team for CWG 2022) is one of the strongest and it is also a fair choice – the selection trials happened and the team was chosen through through that, so I feel it’s one of the best (Indian team), because we also won gold last time in Team event, so I don’t really want to compare this team with the other team, but as of right now I feel this team is one of the strongest,” Srikanth said on TOI Sportscast.
You can listen to the full episode of TOI Sportscast with Srikanth Kidambi here: