'Winning Super Series tourney top priority'
By N Jagannath Das / ENS | Published: 07th October 2012 10:39 AM |
Parupalli Kashyap has finally broken a ‘jinx’ by winning his maiden national title. “This was one of my dreams. A huge burden has been lifted from my back. The national title had been eluding me,” says the 26-year-old shuttler. Excerpts from an interview...
Why did it take so long to win the natl title?
That puzzles me! I was in the final twice earlier. The last time (at Rohtak in 2010) I was not well, but at Indore in 2009, I missed a good opportunity. Both times, I lost to Arvind Bhat. Experience counts in a big final.
How important is the national title to you?
With the performance of Indians improving in international events, the national championship has been overshadowed and is fast losing popularity. But as a tournament, it definitely acts as a platform.
Were you under pressure to win this time?
Yes, after winning the Arjuna Award and good performances in Super Series events and the Olympics, there was pressure. Winning has given me a lot of satisfaction.
How do you see your rivalry with Ajay Jayaram, whom you beat in the national c’ship final?
Jayaram and I were equal on head-to-head count going into the London Olympics but I have managed to beat him in the home stretch. We have been rivals since our junior days. He has always been a tough opponent. I’m happy that he reached the national championship final. It is a healthy rivalry.
2012 has been a successful year for you...
I reached the Olympic quarterfinals and had good results in Super Series tournaments. I want to maintain this form and consistency and plan to play in fewer tournaments. My next tournament will be in November. I want to train harder. Winning a Super Series event is my top priority.
In which areas do you need to improve?
I need to discuss specific plans for Super Series events with coach Pullela Gopichand, who has shaped my career. My strength, fitness and speed are okay and I can play an attacking game. I have been close to breaking into the top 10 but have faltered in big tournaments because of errors.
How big is Saina Nehwal’s impact on Indian badminton?
Saina has raised the bar. Indians are generally not as physically strong as some of their international opponents. Saina has overcome this with hard work.