The year of Kidambi

The month of October has been an annus mirabilis for Indian sports.

Published: 01st November 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st November 2017 02:20 AM   |  A+A-

The month of October has been an annus mirabilis for Indian sports. The FIFA U-17 World Cup was a box-office hit, the cricket team continued to be a byword for a battering ram, the men’s hockey team won the Asia Cup for the first time in a decade and their women counterparts qualified for the World Cup.

But the one runaway leader has been Kidambi Srikanth, the 24-year-old who continues to compose haiku on a badminton court. The Chinese calendar says 2017 is the ‘Year of the Rooster’. Their shuttle players might as well start calling it the ‘Year of Kidambi’. Numbers have the infuriating ability to hide more than expose but the following set reveals all. Four Superseries crowns this year (fourth man to achieve this honour), five finals and back-to-back titles twice (first after Lee Chong Wei to achieve this).

All this has been chronicled, but it still has to be mentioned to paint a picture of the zone the Indian has been inhabiting this year—a place very few badminton players have ever seen. Sure, the Guntur man has miles to go before he can be clubbed alongside Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu. But his successes prove there is enough know-how in the Indian coaching system to help men’s players also reach their full potential.

Srikanth made his first mark on the world stage three years ago when he beat Lin Dan in the China Open final. Injuries and loss of form meant he fell off the radar a bit. A new-found love for fitness catapulted him back into public consciousness.

After the defeat at the World Championships in Glasgow, where he tried ‘everything but nothing worked’, he went back to the drawing board. He has come back a new man. Interpreting a purple patch is risky but Srikanth is now dining with the Gods—Chen Long, Chong Wei and Dan. Given that he is significantly younger, he is in prime position to join that exalted company.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

Asian Games 2018