K. Srikanth: 'We're going slow with our training schedule'

Srikanth resumed training on Monday with his sparring partner B. Sai Praneeth at the SAI-Gopi Chand Academy.

K. Srikanth...“There is no hurry to rush things.”   -  K. Murali Kumar

K. Srikanth, former World No.1 and one of the leading shuttlers from India in contention for a slot in the next Olympics, is in no mood to rush things after resuming training with his sparring partner B. Sai Praneeth at the SAI-Gopi Chand Academy here on Monday.

“Fortunately, with no BWF events likely to be held in the near future, we are going really slow with our training schedule, working on small things at a time and not going flat out,” Srikanth informed Sportstar on Monday. “I remember last year when I had an injury break and resumed training in full steam only to suffer some setbacks. So, I am very guarded this time around with the specific objective of peaking at the right time for any eventual BWF events,” he said.

“I am only tense that the BWF doesn’t have a cramped calendar in the anxiety to conduct most of the postponed events within a short time,” Srikanth said.

“Definitely, the long break because of lockdown has given me enough time to get my body to get into the right shape. It is definitely tough but not impossible,” he added.

“Well, it will take time but certainly confident of getting into the right frame of mind and also physically to eventually realise the goal of making it to the next Olympics,” Srikanth said.

“Honestly, there were some gingerly steps when we started training as we have to be cautious given the pandemic threat. But, yes, we are taking all the precautions even as I confess there is an element of fear creeping in,” he said.

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The champion shuttler, who is struggling to regain the kind of form which made him the World No. 1 in 2018 and win four Super Series titles at a stretch the year before, said he and Sai are working with the new Indonesian coach, Agus Dwi Santoso, who joined the national camp just before the lockdown. “We have not worked together and that also means taking some time to get used to his training methods of course with Gopi Anna (chief national coach P. Gopichand) always there,” he said.

“Maybe, it will take about three months for my body to be 100 per cent ready for any kind of challenges,” he felt.

‘Challenging’

How difficult is it to motivate oneself when there are no tournaments scheduled? “Yes, it is a fact that generally we plan and train accordingly to peak at the right time for a major event. So, it is challenging for all of us but also giving us enough time to correct any aspect in our game and understand our body better,” Srikanth explained.

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“Obviously, there is no hurry to rush things,” he added.

Significantly, the soft-spoken shuttler is hoping for some positive news on the Awards front as his name is recommended by the Badminton Association of India for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. “Yes, I feel proud to have qualified to apply for that in the first instance. And, it would be naturally great if I were to get it. For, these Awards always mean giving you that extra fillip as you re-set the goals,” Srikanth concluded.

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