'Winning Super Series tourney top priority' - The New Indian Express

'Winning Super Series tourney top priority'

Published: 07th Oct 2012 10:39:48 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.

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