Kidambi Srikanth eyes medal at 2023 Asian Games

Badminton News: His form is a bit shaky, India’s Kidambi Srikanth is trying to improve on his shortcomings and hoping for a third time happy ending, as he targets an elusive medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in two weeks.

Former world number one Kidambi Srikanth, who had a chaotic 2023 until falling to 21st in the world, finished in the top 16 and top 32 at the 2014 and 2018 editions of the Asian Games in Incheon and Jakarta .

The 30-year-old from Guntur, who has won medals at major events like the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, earned his place in the Asian Games team after winning the selection events.

He now wants to take advantage of this opportunity to increase his success.

“I don’t have good memories from the Asian Games, the last two times I didn’t perform well in the individual events. So this time, if I can play well, maybe I can make something of myself,” Srikanth told PTI.

“So for me it’s quite simple because I’ve won medals in all the major events except the Asian Games and the Olympic Games which are both held every four years, so this is an opportunity for me to “Go there and make the most of my time,” he said.

Syed Modi remains the only Indian men’s singles player to win a bronze medal at the Asian Games. He won the first edition in 1982.

When asked if this adds pressure, Kidambi Srikanth said: “I don’t see it that way. For me, it’s more about what I do. For me, it’s about ‘I have an opportunity now and I want to do it well.’

Talking about his preparations, he said: “For an Olympics like this, for example Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, the preparations will be a little different compared to other events great series.”

“We have 10 to 15 events every year, but the Asian Games are every four years and you have to be able to make the team. Sometimes, even if you are ranked in the top 20, you may not be able to make the team. not be able to participate in the Asian Games.”

“It’s a predominantly Asian sport and it’s going to be difficult. To win a medal you have to be in the best shape possible, you really have to think about winning the Asian Games.”

However, Srikanth has not been in brilliant form since winning the epic Thomas Cup title in India.

“I think it’s more about consistency. I haven’t played well in some tournaments, but in the ones where I’ve played well, it tells me that if I can be consistent enough, I can win matches .I’m trying to get quality training,” he said.

“Take time and do everything I can, get physically fit and feel good mentally. What I want now is to reduce mistakes in training and repeat that in tournaments.”

With the Paris Olympics in mind, Kidambi Srikanth hired Indonesian coach Wiempie Mahardi to help him improve his game, but he is constantly traveling due to busy schedules.

The BWF schedule means he has less time to train. Srikanth, winner of four Super Series titles in 2017, said he is picking head coach Pullela Gopichand’s brain to regain his lost touch.

“I spoke to Gopi bhaiyaa and understood what he was thinking during his journey over the last few months, so I tried to understand what areas I need to work on. I took his comments into account and I tried to do it,” he said.

“The coach (Mahardi) arrived in May but I had played a lot of tournaments so I didn’t have much time to really train with him. I think he’s always really trying to understand my natural style and then preparing himself. appropriate program.”

“It’s a very important year, we really don’t have time to take things slowly, that’s one of the reasons why I tried to talk to Gopi Bhaiya, because he’s been training me for ages. many years.”

The qualification period for the 2024 Olympics begins on May 1 and Srikanth is currently ranked 22nd in the Race to Paris, behind HS Prannoy (3) and Lakshya Sen (6).

“Olympic qualification will always be on my mind, but for now I just want to be consistent. “If I can do it in the super series and the Asian Games, I will automatically be in the top 12,” he said.

“I want to perform, maybe play in the semi-finals and win a few tournaments and that will determine the ranking, so I’m just focusing on performance rather than ranking. If we can replicate the Thomas Cup performance, we will have a chance for a medal,” the former Indonesian Open champion said.

Article tag: kidambi srikanth, Asian Games 2023

Cheryl Tenny

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