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I want to focus on Rio now and win medal: shuttler Srikanth

Kidambi Srikanth

Mumbai : Elated at securing his maiden berth at the Olympic Games, India’s top-ranked male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth is determined to make it count by winning a medal at Rio de Janeiro.

“I am very happy to have qualified and I want to win a medal in Rio. Getting an Olympic medal is the ultimate dream for any sportsperson. I just want to win a medal at these Olympics. (If it happens) it will be the crowning achievement of my career,” said Srikanth at a press meet here today.

“Qualifying is always a first step and now I am thinking only to win a medal. I am not saying I will definitely win but I have always said I want to win a medal at the Olympics. For that to happen, I have to match my opponent on the court, not just try my best,” said the 23-year-old Guntur-born player.

Srikanth, who had beaten five-time world and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan in the Chinese Open Super Series final in 2014, is the lone Indian shuttler to make it to Rio in men’s singles category.

The youngster, with seven professional titles under his belt, including the Indian Open last year, is here to improv his “core strength” by having a few sessions with a specialist in the new physical fitness area called Pilates, Sameer Purohit, on the advice of national coach Pullela Gopichand.

While expressing his happiness at grabbing an Olympic berth, Srikanth said his focus is to leap into the top eight in world rankings by the cut-off date for the men’s singles draw.

“I would have been happier if I had been among the top eight. I should have pulled out of a few matches. My aim now is to take part in the Indonesian and Australian Open and get into the top eight,” said the shuttler, who is currently ranked 12 after being in the top 10 till the end of March.

The Indonesian Open, a Superseries Premier event, is to be held at Jakarta from May 30-June 5, to be followed by the Australian Open Superseries at Sydney from January 7-12.

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