The 14-year-old is a product of the Gopichand Academy, where he enrolled when he was only eight
Fourteen-year-old Alluri Sri Sai Siril Verma crowned himself with glory, winning the Boys (under-15) singles title at the Asian Youth Badminton Championship in Indonesia on Sunday.
This Class 10 student of Glendale Academy left for the East Asian c0ountry, promising his parents a title this time around – his third appearance at the championship.
“I have been waiting for this for quite some time and am really delighted to win this,” says Siril, who joined Gopichand Academy when he was just eight years of age.
“Honestly, he looked raw but I could see the spark in his eyes and an urge to make it big,” recalls coach Gopichand. Within a year of training, Siril won the National under-10 singles title.
Only recently, Siril won the sub-junior title in the tournament held to scout talent during the IBL.
Only a few days before he left for Indonesia, Siril, partnering Ravinder Singh, won the doubles bronze in the PSPB championship in Delhi.
“I was confident this time around. The long wait has finally ended,” Siril told his parents immediately after his triumph on Sunday.
Like many others, Siril’s parents too shifted base closer to the Gopichand Academy to back their child’s interest in the sport.
“We have decided that the destiny of my son is in badminton and very pleased that it is in the safe hands of Gopi,” says the proud father.
“Any title at the international level is bound to lift your confidence level and I will work really hard and repose the faith Gopi anna has in me,” says Siril.
A delighted mother, Suseela, recalls how she came to know what badminton is all about after a look at Gopi’s photograph in 2001.
“Obviously, I could not even dream of my own son training under him and winning an Asian title today,” she says, controlling her emotions.