Srikanth Kidami, the Indian shuttler born in Ravulapalem, Hyderabad, is one of the finest players Indian Badminton has ever seen. He started playing Badminton in 2001 in Guntur and has come a long way. He has had quite the journey, which led him to be the success he is today.
Srikanth’s story is one to tell. So let’s get to it.
EARLY LIFE & FAMILY:
Srikanth Kidambi is the younger brother of Nandagopal Kidambi, who too plays Badminton. Watching his brother get selected by the Sports Academy of Andra Pradesh, Srikanth got motivated to do the same. The next thing you know, the two Kidambi brothers are sharing a hostel room at the academy where they got trained by their coach, Sudhakar Reddy.
Srikanth’s father, KVS Krishna, is no stranger to sports. Back in the day, he played Cricket at the district level in Guntur. Even though Krishna was just a farmer, he understood the importance of sports and motivated both his sons to pursue Badminton.
He believed he should push his children to play an individual sport even though he played Cricket, which is a team sport.
Krishna knew that being from a middle-class Indian family, pushing his children into sports and not academics, was a risk, but now he is sure that it was the most excellent decision he took.
STRUGGLE & RISE TO SUCCESS:
Srikanth initially was a doubles player. He focused on his doubles game rather than singles. Believe it or not, Srikanth was a sluggish and casual player. He never paid much attention to his diet and would not be strict with himself like he is now. He lacked focus and determination.
Soon after being admitted to the Pullela Gopichand’s academy, things took a turn for the best.
Gopichand observed him play and concluded that Srikanth was a much better singles player than doubles. After this, he was forced to join the singles sessions. He was even forced to make various changes in his habits, which would make him a more disciplined and focused player.
It was in 2011 that Srikanth had his first moment of fame, where he bagged the silver medal the Commonwealth Youth Games. After that fantastic win, he won 2 gold medals at the All India Junior International Badminton Championships.
Srikanth Kidambi proved himself wrong when he started achieving something he only had dreamed of. He was apprehensive about shifting from doubles to singles, but he soon realised that he made the right decision by leaving his faith in the hands of his coach, Gopichand.
2011 is the year it all began for Srikanth. Post that here are the list of a few of his achievements:
-In 2012 he won the Maldives International single’s title
-In 2013 he won the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold as he beat one of the favourite local players Boonsak Ponsana.
-In 2014 he achieved quite a bit. He was runner up in the Indian Grand Prix Open; he reached the semis in the mixed team event of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. But during the China Open Super Series that year, he did something unbelievable. He beat his idol Lin Dan in straight sets. This gave him a huge boost, and he became India’s first man to win a Super Series title.
Watch as Srikanth dominates Lin Dan
-In 2015 he won the Swiss Open Grand Prix as well as the India Open Super Series
-In 2016 he won the Syed Modi International Badminton Championship.
At the Asian Games, he won two gold medals. At the Rio Olympics, he lost to Lin Dan in the quarters in three games.
-In 2017 he won the Indonesia Super Series Premier and became the first Indian man to do so. That same year he won the Australian Open Super Series.
In 2018, he even achieved the highest rank, World No.1, which put him in the limelight.
That same year he won the Padma Shri award.
- Srikanth signed a 35 crore deal with Li-Ning.
- He is supported by GoSports Foundation whose aim is to strengthen sports in India
- He wasn’t good at running! Yup, you read that right. In a sport like Badminton, running is essential. Still, Srikanth wasn’t very good at it. With hours of training under Gopichand, he finally has become as good as anyone else.
- In 2013 he made a significant jump on the world ranking chart. He shot up to the 13thspot from the 240th!
- He has defeated Olympic Champion Chen Long to win the Australian Open Super Series.
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