Srikanth puts priority on winning gold at CWG

Srikkanth says his aim is to become ‘world No 1 by winning tournaments’ and not just reach quarters to earn ranking points.

Kidambi Srikanth skipped few tournaments to prepare for the upcoming big events like All England and CWG.   -  AFP

India’s top ranked shuttler Kidambi Srikanth said that remaining fit and aiming for a Commonwealth Games gold medal has been a priority for him - a reason why he skipped a few tournaments last year, which could have helped him become World No. 1.

Srikkanth asserted that his aim is to become “world No 1 by winning tournaments” and not just reach quarters to earn ranking points. “For me, winning a medal at the Commonwealth and Asian Games is more important. If I wanted to be World No. 1 and not win tournaments (CWG or Asiad), I would have pushed myself to play China and Hong Kong Open last year after the French Open,” said Srikanth, the current World No. 3.

Read: Gopichand positive about India's chances at All England

“And the kind of form I was in, I would have managed to play quarterfinals in both the events and I would have went on to become World No. 1 but I wanted to win tournaments rather than think about rankings. So I opted out of those tournaments and gave my body extra time to recover from injury,” Srikanth said at an event.

“I don’t want to play a quarterfinal of a tournament and become World No 1. I want to win the tournament and be World No 1,” he said. However, he feels that there is little to choose between the top shuttlers from various countries unlike the Chinese domination till a few years back.

China no more dominates

“China has been the dominating force at the Beijing Olympics (2008) and London Olympics (2012). They won all the five gold medals (men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles, mixed doubles) but now the field is more open.

“If you seen in top men’s singles, at the top you have Viktor (Axelsen) from Denmark, second is Lee Chong Wei, who is from Malaysia, I am at number three while China’s Chen Long is ranked four. So there are four different people representing four different countries in the top four.”

Srikanth feels that India has already emerged as a strong force with five men’s singles players in the top-20

“I would say European nations are doing well and we are the only nation (India) to have five men’s singles player in the top 20,” the 25-year-old said.

Eyeing Glory at All England

Srikanth, who won four Super Series titles last year, is yet to win the coveted All England Championship or an Olympic medal. He too understands what it is to attain success at these two events.

“The All England is one of the biggest events because it has history of 100 years attached to it. I would say winning these tournaments, will definitely gives the player legendary status,” he said.

Asked whether he gets extra motivation from Gopichand to win the All England, he says: “It’s not just about All England but for my every victory, the whole credit goes to him. I would love to have him there sitting there as my coach if I get to win the All England,” he added.