Just want to be the best version of myself in CWG, says Kidambi Srikanth | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

NEW DELHI: In a career spanning more than a decade, Kidambi Srikanth saw it all.
The highs of four Superseries titles in a calendar year, the ecstasy of a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, a brief stint in the world rankings, the lows of 23 first-round outings and the pain of missing the Tokyo Olympics — all in just over four years of his career.
Now the much “matured and experienced” Srikanth says he simply tries to create a “better version” of himself every time he takes to the field.

India's history at the Commonwealth Games

India’s history at the Commonwealth Games

“I’m more experienced and mature now. I’ve always wanted to be the best version of myself. I was in the best shape possible in 2018 CWG and I’m very confident as I play Birmingham CWG,” said Srikanth to PTI in an interview.
“I consider CWG to be on par with asian games or world championships. It is an event that occurs in four years and the medal reflects back to the nation. I played well last year and for me it’s about constantly trying to learn from my mistakes and play better.
“I’m not comparing myself to 2018. If I’m going to do anything in Birmingham, I’ll have to create my best version that day.”
The Birmingham Games start on Thursday.

Srikanth’s shares fell after the 2018 CWG as he struggled with a lingering knee injury. Soon the losses piled up and chipped away at his trademark confidence in 2017, leaving him doubtful about his game.
His ranking also dropped, but things started to improve after resolving his fitness issues during the Covid-19 break. He showed better results in the few events he was able to play during the Covid-affected 2020, but with several tournaments canceled he failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I lost two years to Covid-19 because not much happened in 2020-21. Everyone had a theory that I was injured from 2019 to 2021. But that didn’t happen. It wasn’t. I had a few injuries in 2019 but I recovered from them in 2020,” he said.
“Things could have been different had it not been for Covid-19. I only needed 5,000 points to qualify for the Olympics, which wasn’t a big ask, but the tournaments did not take place.

“If the events don’t happen, what should I do. I didn’t think about it much (I missed the Olympics). It didn’t bother me much because I knew there were many events to play.”
Once the international calendar resumed, Srikanth slowly found his bearings and late last year became the first Indian to reach the final of a world championship by securing a coveted silver medal in Huelva, Spain. .
He also won all his matches in Bangkok to lead India to an epic Thomas Cup triumph in May and he now plans to repeat the good show in Birmingham.
“I feel good now. I had pulled my abdominal muscle in Thailand, it was a sweet thing, I didn’t want to take any risk so I retired. I was fine in Indonesia but I had pain in my tendon of Achilles, so I didn’t play the last events.”
In 2018 CWG, Srikanth defeated the legendary Lee Chong Wei to guide India to their first mixed team gold medal, defeating Malaysia in the final.
“I like to play team events, the whole atmosphere, with the team supporting you. It brings out a bit more than normal I guess. I’m very happy to be able to contribute to the team.
“In 2018 it was a very young team, I was 25 and we all just wanted to have fun and do well as a team and it worked out. Winning gold in the first team was a special feeling. Now I come after the Thomas Victoire in the cup but everything will be a little different at the CWG, the whole structure is different but we will be confident.
“It’s about playing well on that day. It’s more difficult in such events. It’s about a week and a half, we have to do everything we can in that time frame and it won’t be easy. ”

Leave a Comment