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2-min read

Kidambi Srikanth Says Coach Mulyo's Departure Won't Affect His Aim to Become No.1

India has certainly found its badminton great in Kidambi Srikanth. The Guntur lad won four Superseries titles last year and reached a career-high ranking of World No. 2. But to be in a league of other greats, Srikanth needs to repeat his feats, or probably better them.

Madhav Agarwal | News18 Sports

Updated:February 2, 2018, 8:32 AM IST
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Kidambi Srikanth Says Coach Mulyo's Departure Won't Affect His Aim to Become No.1
Kidambi Srikanth. (Getty Images)

New Delhi: Throughout the history of modern badminton, all the greats of the sport, in the men's singles, have had one thing in common - consistency. Players like Lin Dan, Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei won tournaments repeatedly, year-after-year. And they still continue to do so.

India has certainly found its badminton great in Kidambi Srikanth. The Guntur lad won four Superseries titles last year and reached a career-high ranking of World No. 2. But to be in a league of other greats, Srikanth needs to repeat his feats, or probably better them.

Realising what it takes to be a champion of champions, Srikanth is happy with the results in the year gone by, but is far from satisfied. In an exclusive chat with News18 Sports, Srikanth speaks of a great 2017, and probably an even better 2018 that lies ahead.

In what could rightfully be termed as Srikanth's only slip up, he failed to breach that quarterfinal hurdle once again at a world event. In the World Championship quarters match against Son Wan Ho, the Indian succumbed 14-21, 18-21. Previously in the 2016 Olympics, Srikanth had fallen to Lin Dan in the quarters.

"After the loss in the quarters at the World Championship, I was certainly disappointed. The kind of form I was in before that tournament, I should have won a medal. That's something I'm sad about. But it was one of my best years too. I stayed injury-free.

"Talking just about the match, I gave Son Wan Ho too much lead in the first game itself. I tried to comeback in the second, but it was too late. Also when you're playing against the World No. 1, you cannot concede a lead of 10 points," Srikanth said.

It wouldn't be wrong to call Indonesian coach Mulyo Handyo as one of the key reasons behind Srikanth's success, and with him gone now, the biggest question is, will the Indian shuttler be able to sustain his form. But Srikanth has little doubts about it. For him, all shuttlers were doing well before Mulyo, and will continue to rise after him too.

"To have someone with 30-35 years of experience with you is always a big plus. But I don't think his absence will leave a great void. All the schedules and training that he introduced were together done with Gopichand, and also we have other Indonesian coaches with us for help.

"Mulyo of course made a great like Taufik Hidayat, but Gopichand was the one who helped Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu win Olympic medals. So I don't think there is much problem here. But talking about his contribution, Mulyo exactly knew what his players had to do."

Recently conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri, Srikanth is optimistic that he can keep up with everyone's rising expectations. "I think every time I step on the court, I have just one goal. I do not want to repeat my previous mistakes, and don't think of the end result. That works really well for me," he concluded.

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| Edited by: Baidurjo Bhose
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