23 January, 2021

Passing Shot At The Summit

Srikanth climbs atop the badminton heap. True grit bears fruit. Doggedness will keep him there.

Passing Shot At The Summit

Four years ago, Srikanth Nammalwar Kidambi was in the ICU of a Hyderabad hospital when he collapsed in the bathroom after a strenuous training session.  At the end of that dreaded July in 2014, when he was diagnosed with meningitis, he was ranked world No. 29. Today he is the world’s No. 1 badminton player. Could anything at all have foretold this total inversion of fate? Yes, Srikanth’s incredible work ethic and willingness to push himself to the very limits. If rankings could tell tales, Srikanth’s would speak of unr­elieved toil.

At the just-concluded Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Gold Coast, 25-year-old Srikanth played a key role in providing India a confident platform by helping it win the mixed team gold. Later, the top seed reached the singles final too. He lost to Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia (world No. 1 from 2008-12), but not before wresting the first game. Between the two events, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced their latest rankings, charting Srikanth’s climb to the summit, replacing Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen. It...



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