HYDERABAD: These are clearly the best times for badminton in the country. With PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal returning with a medal each from the recently concluded World Championships at Glasgow, and Kidambi Srikanth performing creditably in men’s singles, the team of shuttlers have done enough to suggest that the future of badminton in the country is bright.
Prior to this tournament, the way Srikanth performed at Hong Kong, Indonesia and Australia, the coaches and fans were hopeful that the 24-year-old will also get into the medals bracket. But, the Guntur lad faltered in the quarterfinals, just like he did in last year’s Rio Olympics and the 2015 World Championships. Winner of multiple Superseries titles, a world medal continues to elude him.
But for him, it all is a part of learning. Though it’s taking time to come, Srikanth is optimistic that he can break the jinx of quarterfinals and get a world medal when the next opportunity comes. “I was disappointed with the loss. I made far too many mistakes in the match. Actually, nothing really went right for me. My attack wasn’t working. And Son Wan Ho (World No 1) was clearly the better player on the day. I had a good chance of returning with a gold, but it was a case of just one bad match. For the jinx to break, if there is any, I would have to wait till next year,” Srikanth told Express after returning from Glasgow.
“There was a time when Sachin Tendulkar was getting out in the nervous nineties. Though he faltered a few times, he did manage to get a lot of hundreds after that. So I know what I have to do to get past the quarters. I have played enough tournaments in my career not to be bothered about such losses.”
While the fans might rue the fact that Srikanth could’t get a medal, the man himself has no regrets, considering the way he played the tournament. He was also satisfied with the way the game against Danish Anders Antonsen went according to the plans. “If you see, I had some really good matches. I really enjoyed playing against Antonssen in the pre-quarters. When I look back at the tournament, I don’t have any regrets,” he concluded.