In the last two years, Kidambi Srikanth battled injuries and a dip in form, but was finally able to prove his mettle after he won a silver medal at the World Championships. Post that he was expected to do well at the Indian Open, but had to miss the tournament after contracting Covid-19.
But fortunately, the ace shuttler has made a quick recovery and is now gearing up for the upcoming tournaments, and has his eyes set on defending the CWG gold as well.
"It was frustrating but it is something I had no control over. I wanted to play the events in India as I felt I had a very good chance to win the tournament," said Srikanth. "I had mild symptoms. I was in isolation for around 10 days. Fortunately, I recovered quickly and once the test came negative, I started training immediately."
Now he will start the season with the German Open Super 300 (March 8-13), and then participate at the All England Championships (March 16-20). But for him, CWG remains a priority. "The Commonwealth Games is very important for me as I am the defending champion. Asian Games is also important and in between, there is the World Championship," said Srikanth.
"This is an important year and I just want to train well and play to the best of my ability. I have a very high chance of winning gold in individuals at CWG. But I will have to be really fit and be able to train well, be match-ready before CWG and implement my plans."
Reflecting upon his injuries, he said, "I felt because of the injuries I couldn't play well. I was trying to play well, pull out close matches, and be in the mix. I thought the whole set of events, beginning with the Sudirman Cup, I was playing well. I played 9 to 10 tournaments till the World Championships.
"I was kind of happy with my progress. It gave me that confidence. At the World Championship, I just wanted to be there, thinking about one match at a time. I just wanted to play well and not think about finals."