Parupalli Kashyap has praised Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth, who have won a combined five Superseries events in 2017, stating that they could deliver at next year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games. After two injury-plagued seasons, the former Arjuna Awardee is hoping for a healthy 2018 campaign.
Kashyap became a household name in 2012 when he managed to reach the quarterfinals of the London Olympics, becoming the only male player to do that at the time. He was even the Icon Player for an Indian Badminton League team in the 2013 edition, and being a trainee in the Gopichand Badminton Academy, remains well acquainted with Indian badminton's best like Srikanth, HS Prannoy, and B Sai Praneeth, who have emerged from the same academy.
The veteran shuttler has seen them fighting their way up on the international circuit and expressed his belief in their ability to deliver at the highly anticipated Commonwealth Games and Asian Games next year. Kashyap’s biggest achievement came in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where he defeated Derek Wong of Singapore to etch his name in badminton history, alongside legends Prakash Padukone and Syed Modi. However, a Superseries title has been eluding the 31-year-old till now, something the young generation has been doing quite regularly.
“Srikanth, Prannoy and Sai Praneeth are all capable of winning gold at the Commonwealth Games. They are winning Super Series events, which I wasn't able to do. They are all very close to winning medals at events like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and Olympics," Kashyap said during an event organized by Chennai International Centre (CIC).
“I have seen the likes of Srikanth and Praneeth train for many years. When they started out at the Gopichand academy, it was evident that they could make it to the top. I was in the top-10 some time back and they would have also taken a lot of inspiration from that. The comparison earlier was always between Saina and Sindhu. They are extraordinary athletes. Now, the men's game is also up there."
After a glorious 2014, Kashyap saw a serious dip in his career as it started with a disappointing loss to Derek Wong in the pre-quarters of 2015 Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold. Though he made amends for it by winning the India Open Grand Prix Gold next, where he beat Srikanth in the final, his disappointing run in the Superseries events continued. 2016 and 2017 have seen the man from Hyderabad suffering a host of injuries that have kept him away from posing a serious challenge in World Badminton.
“I had a knee surgery in 2016. Then in the 2017 PBL final, I dislocated my shoulder. I was sidelined for three months. I'm trying to work my way around these things. Right now, everything is fine. I am just trying to get back to peak fitness. Considering the stage I'm in, I need to work harder now. I will start playing at a good level once again from 2018. I hope everything falls
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