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Can do better, the best is yet to come: Srikanth

Kidambi Srikanth, File.

Kidambi Srikanth, File.

“I kept believing in myself even through the tough times. And I can say the best is yet to come. I can do much better,” said shuttler K. Srikanth, who won a historic men’s singles silver medal in the World championship in Spain last Sunday.

“I will keep my head down, work even harder and continue to look to winning titles,” Srikanth said in his first media interaction on his arrival back home on Tuesday.

“Frankly, I am really happy and feeling great with my performance in the World championship. This I consider is the best phase of my career, better than the dream run I had in 2017 when I had won four Super Series titles (which eventually also saw him to be the World No. 1),” the champion shuttler said.

Truly special

“After all the disappointments including missing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this silver medal is truly special. The best part being I was aggressive right through,” he said.

“I can say the injury phase is over but the focus right now will be to continue to keep improving as the year ahead has a packed schedule with the India Open in January, then the All England, the World championship and the Asian Games,” he said. “There is no time even to celebrate this silver,” he said with a smile.

“I will speak to Gopi Anna (chief national coach P. Gopi Chand) and work out a schedule accordingly to keep winning major events,” he added.

“Not many are aware how difficult it was for me in the last few years, sometimes for reasons beyond my control. Like, when I was feeling better and confident, the pandemic disrupted the tournament schedule worldwide. In fact, seven Olympic qualifying tournaments were cancelled which dented my chances to make it to the Tokyo Games,” he said.

Tough semifinal

“I don’t think the tough semifinal against Lakshya Sen had a bearing on the final. In big events, these are common. I repeat, it all boils down to how well you play in the one hour on the given day irrespective of all the training preceding the match day,” Srikanth said.

Future bets

“I expected the kind of game Lakshya played against me. He looked really good, and along with Priyanshu, is among the future bets for Indian men’s badminton,” he said.

He looked perplexed when a reporter asked him whether he had any plans to leave Gopi Academy like some big names had left.

“Name the players who have done that. Anyhow, I am here (at Gopi Academy) and (will) continue to keep winning more titles,” he added.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 6:38:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/i-thought-missing-olympics-is-not-the-end-of-the-world-says-srikanth-after-silver-at-worlds/article38004827.ece