Kaushal Dharmamer: Myanmar title gave me confidence

Kaushal Dharmamer, who is currently ranked 187th, has set his eyes on breaking into top 100 this year.

Kaushal Dharmamer is currently the World No. 187. Representative Image: Rayan Rozario

For two years, Indian shuttler Kaushal Dharmamer was left to deal with a nagging knee injury which stopped his career from taking flight.

On Sunday, the 23-year-old from Mumbai stood on the podium with the Myanmar International Series trophy in his hands, his second win following the title triumph at Hatzor International last year.

“This win is quite important as it has given me confidence to do well at international tournaments. I was bothered by injuries in the last few years, so this makes it all the more special,” Kaushal told PTI.

Kaushal, a bronze medallist at the Senior Nationals this year, capped an impressive week with a gritty performance at the final, where he had to rally his way after losing the opening game. He beat Indonesia’s Karono Karono 18-21 21-14 21-11 in a match that lasted an hour.

READ | India’s Kaushal Dharmamer wins Myanmar International Series

“It was a good week for me. In the finals, I was 18-15 up in the opening game but I lost from there as Karono played steady and unleashed some good jump smashes from the baseline, which I couldn’t counter.

“In the second game, I regrouped myself and played longer rallies and waited for my chances and went for the kill and won it,” Kaushal said.

“In the third, he had slowed a bit. I was more steady, while he seemed tired. I was leading 11-7 and went up to 15-8 and after that it was comfortable. I lost two match points and then I won,” he added.

Kaushal picked up the sport after watching his parents play the game for recreation. Soon he too tagged along and gradually his interest grew. He then joined a summer coaching camp as a six-year-old and has been hooked to badminton ever since. However, his professional career was hit by a knee injury in 2016 which affected his progress.

“I had an issue with left patella tendon in knee. It started in 2016 but it was recurring in 2017 and 2018 and also early this year. If I strain it by playing without taking corrective measure, it gets worse. So it is about managing it,” he said.

“This year, I started working with Chris Pedra in March and his program has really helped me. I have also improved strength wise and that has made a big difference.”

A trainee of Uday Pawar Badminton Academy, Kaushal, who is currently ranked 187th, has now set his eyes on breaking into top 100 this year.

“I’ll be playing Maldives Challenge in the last week of September. And then Tata Open challenge and Syed Modi Super 300 in November,” said Kaushal, who had won the Senior All India tournament at Pune in 2017. “The target now is to try and break into the top 100 by the end of this season,” he signed off.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :