Srikanth eyes elusive Asian Games medal

Srikanth eyes elusive Asian Games medal

His form a bit wobbly, India's Kidambi Srikanth is trying to iron out the flaws and hoping to be third time lucky, as he chases an elusive Asian Games...

His form a bit wobbly, India's Kidambi Srikanth is trying to iron out the flaws and hoping to be third time lucky, as he chases an elusive Asian Games medal in Hangzhou.

A former world number one, Srikanth, who has endured a topsy-turvy 2023 to fall to world number 21, finished at the round of 16 and 32 in 2014 and 2018 editions of Asian Games at Incheon and Jakarka respectively.

The 30-year-old from Guntur, who has won medals in major events such as the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, earned his place in the Asian Games team after topping the selection trials. Now he wants to make full use of the opportunity to add to his success.

"I didn't have great memories in Asian Games, the last two times I didn't do well in individual events. So this time, if I can play well really than probably can make something for myself," Srikanth told PTI.

"So for me it is quite simple because I have won medal in every other big event except for Asian Games and Olympics, both of which happen once in four years, so this is an opportunity for me to go and make full use of it this time."

Syed Modi remains the only Indian men's singles player to win a medal -- bronze -- at the Asian Games. He won in the inaugural edition in 1982. Asked if it adds to the pressure, Srikanth said: "I don't really look at it like that. For me it is more about what I am doing. For me it is about I have an opportunity now and I want to do well."

Talking about his preparation, he said: "For Games like these, say Olympics, world championships, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, the preparation will be a little different compared with any other super series events.

"We have 10-15 events every year, but Asian Games happen every four years and you have to earn your entry in the team. Sometimes even if you are in the top 20 you might not get into Asian Games.

"It is one of the toughest event in badminton. It is an Asian dominated sport and it is going to be tough. To win medal you have to be at your best, really have to try thinking about wining the Asian Games." Srikanth, however, hasn't been on fire since fashioning India's epic Thomas Cup title win last year. He has managed four quarterfinal finish in 15 tournaments in 2023.

"I feel it is more about issue of consistency. I couldn't play some tournaments well but those which I played well, it tells me that if I can be consistent enough I can win matches. "I am trying to get some quality practice time and do everything that I can, be physically fit and feel good mentally. All I want at the moment is to cut down on errors in practice and replicate it in the tournament."

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