Was shocked to see the next year’s BWF calendar, says Kidambi Srikanth | Badminton News

MUMBAI: Athletes in all sports have often complained of a hectic schedule that hampers their physical and mental fitness and their ability to continue producing top-notch performances. This has been a problem with badminton, where the world badminton federation normally chalk a choc-a-block calendar.
Thursday, the former men’s world No. Kidambi Srikanth highlighted his concern over the crowded international badminton calendar in 2023, noting how difficult it would make things for badminton players in an Olympic qualifying year. According to the official BWF website, 31 events are scheduled in the World Tour calendar for 2023-24, with an increased number of Super 1000, Super 750 and Super 500 tournaments interspersed throughout the season. The race to qualify for the Paris Olympics will begin on May 1, 2023, with the initial qualification determination period being April 28, 2024 to April 30, 2024.
Srikanth felt that busy people BWF calendar was “much better before covid”. “It was much better before covid because we used to have 3 tournaments in a row but once a year. After two tournaments in a row there was a gap of 2 weeks. But now when I have seeing the schedule for next year, I was really shocked to see 6-7 (planned) tournaments back to back, and that too, twice. So it’s tough and physically challenging. You have to choose (in which events to play). As it’s the year of Olympic qualification, you can’t really skip tournaments. So we’re put in a situation where we can’t really skip tournaments, and we can’t play any 100% tournaments,” Srikanth said here Thursday.
So how does he manage this schedule and avoid burnout? “See, you can’t skip the Asian Games (next year), you can’t skip the Super 1000 or Super 750 series events. So it’s just a matter of prioritizing which tournaments to play, maintaining your body and be physically fit to play. That’s the only option,” he said.
Srikanth explained his roadmap for the Olympics two years later. “It’s a long time (to come). The qualification process (for the Olympics) will start in 7 months. Right now, I’m just looking to sort things out, stay injury-free and get fit. The next 7 months I’m just trying to figure out other things like fitness. So these 12 months will be as important as the Olympics, because for us it’s not about just one competition, but about maintaining the rankings. If I play fewer tournaments, it’s about playing well in those events,” the 29-year-old explained, speaking to reporters during a GO Sports Foundation an event.
Srikanth has revealed that he is unlikely to compete in the upcoming Gujarat National Games. “I represent Andhra Pradesh. They don’t have badminton team event entry. We are still figuring this out as I am injured (stiff back) at the moment. So I don’t haven’t been able to train,” Srikanth said. “I’m looking to play the Danish Open and France. next month. The first priority for me right now is to start training and get back to 100%,” he stressed.
Considering the superb and consistent performances of Indian male commuters this year, which saw them claim their first Thomas Cup title, the men’s doubles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the bronze medal at the World Championships BWF, India can hope to win its first men’s badminton medal at the Olympics, at the 2024 Games in Paris, said Srikanth. “I came very close to winning a medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. It’s always a possibility, it’s just that you have to be at your best. We definitely have a chance. It’s not about only singles, but also men’s doubles. If we can be consistent throughout, surely we have a chance,” said Srikanth.

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