Srikanth Kidambi: I still have a very long way to go and believe that I can get better, really want to do well in 2024 Olympics | Badminton News

In 2017 Srikanth Kidambi was the first Indian and only the fourth male badminton player to win up to four Super Series titles in a year. In April next year he was ranked number one in the world and in the same year he received the fourth highest civilian honor, the prestigious Padma Shri.
Srikanth was a recent guest on the Times of India sports podcast sports broadcast and spoke about his badminton journey so far, family support, the rollercoaster ride he’s had since 2018, the upcoming Commonwealth Games and more.
“Since 2018 there have been many ups and downs – there have been many ups and many downs. In 2018, after a very good 2017, we won gold at the CWG, where I also won silver (individuals) and became world number one, then Asian Games – after that I got injured – in 2019 the qualification phase started. At the end of 2019 I really (again) started to play well. I played a Super Series semi-final and then I played a semi-final in 2020 and there were decent performances, but then Covid-19 happened and the Olympics were postponed to 2021. Also in 2021 I started really well but then the tournaments got canceled and I couldn’t qualify for the Olympics – those were all the lows I went through. But since September (2021), since tournaments resumed and since I started playing tournaments again, I’ve been starting to feel fine. I start with a couple of quarter-finals and semi-finals and then the World Championship final (won a silver) and then the Thomas Cup win – it’s a steady graph I feel and that’s always good I think because it shows that you it’s improving every day,” Srikanth Kidambi continued TOI Sportscast.

(TOI photo)
Although his world ranking is currently -11, Srikanth is considered a player capable of beating any player in the world on his day regardless of ranking etc., Srikanth reached a new peak in his career last year when he became the first Indian male shuttle to reach the finals of the World Championship. He went on to win the silver.
And then his win over higher-ranked Jonatan Christie in the Thomas Cup final gave India its first title in the prestigious team tournament, beating 14-time champions Indonesia 3-0 in the final. Srikanth was the captain of the Indian team and unbeaten in the tournament.
So where does he feel his game currently stands? Does he feel like he can push new boundaries?
“I feel like I’m getting better. I feel like I can play the way I want and I still believe I can get better from here. I have the 2024 Olympics in mind so I feel like I have a very long way to go from here, I feel like I can get better. So I’m just trying to stay consistent, work on myself and try to get better with every session (practice) and do well in the big games. Unfortunately, the Asian Games have been postponed, but this year there is the CWG and the World Championships. I also really want to do well at the 2024 Olympics in Paris,” the former world No. 1 continued TOI Sportscast.

Srikanth Kidambi

(SAI media photo)
An Olympic medal is of course the ultimate goal for Srikanth, especially considering he missed the flight to Tokyo after several events were cancelled, hurting his chances of qualifying for the last edition. In Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, India has two big potential medal prospects in the Men’s Singles draw at the next edition in Paris in 2024. Srikanth will of course be hoping and working very hard to ensure that this steady chart he has been working on doesn’t collapse as he views his first Olympic medal.
The next edition of the Commonwealth Games, meanwhile, begins on the 28th of this month in Birmingham and Srikanth has previously said that this time India has the potential to win all gold medals in all events. At the last edition of the Gold Coast Games in 2018, Srikanth won the silver medal in men’s singles and was also part of the mixed team that won the gold medal. Overall, India returned from the 2018 edition with 2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medals.

Kidambi

(Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)
Srikanth, 29, likes what he sees as he goes through the list of Indian badminton players heading to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. The Indian squad selected for the games has the likes of Srikanth himself, PV Sindhulakshya sen, Chirag Shetty, Satviksairaj RankireddyAshwini Ponnappa, Gayatri Gopichand among other.
“I definitely think this (current Indian contingent for CWG 2022) is one of the strongest and it was a fair selection too – selection processes took place and the team was chosen through it, so I think it’s one of the best (Indian Quota). because we also won gold in the team event last time, so I don’t really want to compare this team to this one, but right now I think this team is one of the strongest,” Srikanth continued TOI Sportscast.
You can listen to the full episode of TOI Sportscast with Srikanth Kidambi here:

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