At No 4, Kidambi Srikanth is India’s best male shuttler in the world in the latest BWF ranking list and the 22-year-old has embarked on a journey to establish himself as the World No 1 and at the same time qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Srikanth won this year’s Swiss Open in Basel with a 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 win over defending champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark and in the process redeemed his first round defeat to Japan’s Kento Momota in the prestigious All England Championships.
For the Swiss Open Srikantah was the top seed and Viktor the No 2 seed.
The Indian youngsters admits that he needs “consistency” in pursuit of his badminton career and chase his Olympic dreams and to be World No 1 The top 16 players in the BWF’s ranking list will make the cut for Rio 2016.
To date, Srikanth’s most memorable win was winning the men’s singles title in the China Open Super Series Premier. In the final he Srikanth stunned China’s Lin Dan, the five time world champion and two-time Olympic champion. And Srikanth took his first Super Series title in style with a straight set 21-19, 21-17 win over the Chinese ace.
Srikanth will be one of the star attractions at the USD500,000 Maybank Malaysian Open which will be played at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from March 31 – April 5.
He is seeded fourth for the Malaysian Open behind China’s top seed Chen Lomg, Jan O Jorgensen (No 2) and South Korea’s San Wan-ho (No 3). Lin Dan is the No 5 seed.
Srikanth also has another target – to win a medal in the World Championships. He is working on his mental strength apart from his fighting qualities to turn things in his favour.