Work hard, avoid sugars: Kidambi Srikanth reveals his fitness mantra – India Today

Highlights

  • 1

    Srikanth won four Super Series titles in 2017

  • 2

    He won in Indonesia, Australia, Denmark and France

  • 3

    He will next represent India in the India Open starting on January 30

Kidambi Srikanth is now a known name in the nooks and corners of India. Thanks to his four Super Series titles in 2017, badminton has picked up even more in the country.

Srikanth dazzled in the past year, decimating his opponents around the world and became the only Indian and just the fourth male shuttler to win four Super Series titles in a calendar year.

With victories in Indonesia, Australia, Denmark and France — all four coming in couplet between just two weeks — Srikanth has only risen the stature of the sport. (Viktor Axelsen loves being in India, enjoys audience passion for badminton)

While earlier, all the talks in India about badminton revolved around Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, Srikanth, along with HS Prannoy, B Sai Praneeth and others, have managed to somewhat alter the landscape.

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Srikanth is now a superstar in the country and even though he marvels in that recognition, he largely sees it as a growth for the sport.

Reuters Photo

“I feel very happy. I am getting the recognition now and people are recognising me every time I go out. I am just very happy and in a way, it’s like the sport is also growing in the country and I am happy to be a part of this change,” Srikanth told in an exclusive conversation with IndiaToday.in’s Abreshmina S Quadri.

He is just a normal man off court, in fact a shy person largely. You would usually spot him quiet and breezily walking around with a slight smile adorning his face. All his intense conversations and chattiness is reserved for areas in and around the court.

He says he hardly has a life away from badminton. His intense training leaves only a Sunday to himself and he hardly ever wants to walk out on the lone off-day. However, he is a movie buff and perhaps, that’s his only source of entertainment.

“For me, there’s not much other than badminton. It’s like six days a week I train and Sunday is the only off I get and then, I am so tired with training all week that I just don’t want to go out anywhere. May be once or twice a month, I go out for movies and that’s it.

“I am more into regional films. There is no real favourite because I watch all the movies, almost all the Telugu movies but it’s more about watching them for some entertainment,” Srikanth shared.

Just a look at him on the court and one is forced to marvel upon his smashing abilities. His jump and smash that has become his second name, his down-on-the-knees defence and his wide open eyes as he plays a shot, Srikanth plays an attractive brand of badminton.

Pullela Gopichand had said earlier in the year that there are technically better players than Srikanth in India but it is his smashes that make him so watchable. And Srikanth credits Gopichand for his trademark.

“All thanks to Gopi sir (Pullela Gopichand) for training me that way (for smashes). I think it’s all him and we have worked on it for many sessions from many years. I don’t think it’s something that I have got naturally but it’s something we have worked so much on. All thanks and credit goes to him for sure.”

Reuters Photo

That jump-smash and the power that Srikanth puts behind that shot requires immense strength and fitness. Srikanth back in 2015, when he became the first Indian male to win the China Open, was a lean shuttler. He is still not bulky but his muscle development is evident and so is his fitness.Srikanth shared his not-so big a secret with IndiaToday.in.

“It’s more about avoiding some sugars and that’s the only thing I take care about. Otherwise, you have to work every day and I think that’s the only way to keep your fitness high. It’s more about working every day and eating less sugars.”

With the advent of the New Year, Srikanth is only focusing on getting better. At the moment he is representing the Awadhe Warriors in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) and that is where his focus lies.

“I have a match on 2nd (January 2) for Awadhe Warriors and so I don’t have much time to celebrate. So it’s more about doing well in the PBL for my team,” Srikanth said.

2018 is going to be a big year. With the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, even bigger for the Indians. Considering the performances Indian players have put in the past year, expectations are only bigger and Srikanth hopes the seniors and the juniors can live up to that.

“Tokyo 2020 is still a far target but next year having the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, it’s really going to be a big year. As you mentioned, everyone is doing very well in the seniors and I think now it’s for the juniors to get inspired by the seniors. They have also done well and we have a few players who have been the world No.1s in juniors and so, it’s upto them to take it from here and perform on bigger stage. It’s for us to do better next year.”

The year has begun and so have the challenges. A changed BWF calendar means, three back-to-back Super Series events await the players, including the India Open, starting January 30.

Srikanth had lost to world No.1 and eventual champion Viktor Axelsen in the previous edition of the home Super Series and will hope to turn the result around this time and dazzle on the home court as he has around the world in 2017.

The Author

Vadhiya Natha

Vadhiya Natha is an Event blogger and admin of Sports24.in. Mostly like to write sports article. He is enjoying sports articles and all sports event, specially Cricket is his favorite sports.
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