Lockdown diaries: Good decision to postpone Tokyo Olympics

Injuries at crucial times have hamstrung Kidambi Srikanth. The threat of the Coronavirus is not helping either.

“I am right now in Guntur. With the Academy shut down and all BWF events suspended, there is very little I can do except trying a few things to stay fit,” says Kidambi Srikanth.   -  AP

Kidambi Srikanth must be thinking how true the old adage is — scaling the summit is easier than staying there for long!

Well, this badminton champion was on top of the World, ranked No.1, in April 2018. Things looked really rosy during that phase. But then, there was a slump, primarily because of injuries.

In an exclusive chat with Sportstar, the quiet and easy-going shuttler shares thoughts of his journey, how he reached the pinnacle and where his career is headed now.

“Six years before I became No.1, I remember I was ranked World No. 336. Then, the target was to think of being in the top 300, then in 250, then 200, and so on before aiming for the top 10,” he recalls.

“I travelled to quite a few places after having got hooked to badminton seeing my elder brother play in my hometown, Guntur. Then, things began looking different when I finally settled down at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad,” he traces his route to stardom.

“The first time I got the feeling that I could be there with the best was when I won the 2012 Maldives Open. It was not a major title when you look at the BWF events. But, that was one triumph which gave me the confidence and self-belief that I could move on and on,” says Srikanth.

Srikanth, even while welcoming the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to be held this July/August to 2021, owing to the coronavirus threat, feels that the BWF should think of a timeline for the Games only after it starts all the tournaments which were cancelled recently.

“It is a good decision as it is next to impossible to host the Games given the critical scenario across the world,” Srikanth told Sportstar...

Read the full story when the latest issue of Sportstar magazine is available on April 8.

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