Srikanth eyes World glory

Srikanth eyes World glory

Set to regain his place in the World top 10 after winning back-to-back titles, Kidambi Srikanth has now trained his eyes on the prestigious World Championship crown.

The 24-year-old Indian, who won the Indonesia Super Series Premier and the Australian Super Series titles, said he will play to win at the World Championship in August.

“It is good to be back in the top ten. But, I did not play this tournament with that intention, I played to win it,” Srikanth told reporters on his return to Hyderabad.

“Even at the World Championship, I will definitely play to win. That is the only thing I am thinking about, not the ranking,” he added.

Srikanth, who bounced back from an ankle injury, expressed happiness over his success in the last few weeks.

“The last two weeks have been fantastic. Not only for me, but for H S Prannoy and Sai (Praneeth) also. Prannoy has done really well beating Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long in successive matches which never happened before,” he said.

“I congratulate Prannoy on doing it. But, it was an unfortunate semifinal lose.” Srikanth said he will need to keep working hard to be more consistent.

“In the last couple of months, I am playing very well and up to my potential. I really want to continue training hard in the coming months. That is the only way to be consistent. You have to train hard,” he said.

Srikanth doesn’t want to compare his wins in the last two tournaments but said winning against Olympic champion Long was one of the biggest victories for sure. “I think every win was important for me. I don’t want to compare any of those wins. I definitely say this is one of my biggest wins. But, I don’t want to compare,” Srikanth said.

It was just after the Rio Olympics when he had suffered a stress fracture in his right ankle, an injury that took three months to heal, leaving him on the sidelines for the entire second half of last season.

Srikanth said he did not want to push himself much immediately after the injury.

“After the injury, I did not want to push myself so much. I only wanted to train first, get better and then start tournaments. I think with the help of Gopi Sir (Chief National Coach Pullela Gopichand) and our new coach (Mulyo Handoyo), it really happened for me,” he said.

Srikanth thanked Gopichand, the Badminton Association of India and the Government for their support.

“It was only because of Gopichand’s guidance that he could succeed as a badminton player,” he said.

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