Press Trust of india

Missing Olympics is not end of the world: Srikanth

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Hyderabad: When he missed the Tokyo Games due to a mix of injuries and cancellation of qualifiers owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, shuttler Kidambi Srikanth said to himself that Olympics is not the end of the world.

He was confident that his time would come and he worked towards it. Now, he is glad that his toil has paid off, evidence of which is a historic world championships silver medal in the men’s singles competition.

“Olympics… I was also disappointed. If you look at it, I was still the highest-ranked player from India. But, some tournaments were supposed to happen for Olympics qualification. Nearly, seven to nine tournaments got cancelled,” Srikanth said on Tuesday.

“First part of the qualification, I could not play because of my injury. Second part, I was fully fit. But, tournaments did not happen.

“2021, they said resumption… I played Swiss Open semifinal. I had said I was feeling confident, I can make it to the Olympics. But, again, every tournament got cancelled. Those things are something I don’t have any control over. So, I don’t want to talk about it.

“I felt that day that Olympics is not the end of the world. I thought that I will have my own chances. I worked towards it. I am just happy that everything paid off.” Seeking to become a better player by working on his shortcomings, Srikanth said he will “focus on maintaining” his form and fitness heading into a hectic new year.

The 28-year-old former world number one from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh on Sunday became the first Indian male shuttler to claim a silver medal at the prestigious tournament.

On his return to the country, Srikanth said, “Now my only focus is on maintaining this and to improve further. Because, All England and then Commonwealth Games, Asian Games are there next year. It’s a very big year.

“Next eight to 10 months are very important for me. So, I am looking at talking to Gopi anna (coach Pullela Gopichad). I will try and work on what went wrong in the last few months.

“Even though I played finals, there will definitely be some negatives, I have to work on to become a better player.”

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