Srikanth eyes Olympic glory

F1 British Grand Prix – Valtteri Bottas pole position lap

Having qualified to participate in the Olympics, Kidambi Srikanth is eager to impress.

The Indian shuttler is the top ranked male player in his country and will be hunting a medal in Rio.

"I am very happy to have qualified and I want to win a medal in Rio," the 23-year-old told NDTV.

"Getting an Olympic medal is the ultimate dream for any sportsperson. I just want to win a medal at this year's Olympics. If it happens, it will be the crowning achievement of my career.

"Qualifying is always a first step and now I am only thinking to win a medal. I am not saying I will definitely win but I have always said I want to win a medal at the Olympics. For that to happen, I have to match my opponent on the court, not just try my best."

Srikanth has shown massive potential in recent times, defeating the likes of Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, so a medal could be on the cards in Brazil.

"The top 20 are at the same level and it depends on who is mentally strong and who plays with better strategy on a particular day," revealed Srikanth.

"It's always tough to play the top three players. ..Chen Long, Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan. They have so much experience, they have played in these tournaments before and they know how to handle pressure. Need to have the believe as all three have lost many matches."

In preparation for the Olympics, Srikanth will feature in the upcoming Indonesian Open and the Australian Open Superseries, after which he will take a well-earned break. 

"These two tournaments are really important," he added.

"If I gain some points and come back into top eight, comparatively I will get an easier draw. There will be 16 seeds. Seeds 5-8 will play seeds 1-4 only in the quarters, while 9-16 will play in the pre quarters. That's why it's important.

"I have played too many tournaments over the last five-six months. Now is the time not to play too many tournaments. After these two tournaments, I will have nearly seven-to-eight weeks' break. That's the time I will train for the Olympics.

"I want to keep my body fit. I now have three-and-a-half weeks' break. It's a very good time to rest and train as in the last 4-6 months I never got four weeks of training. I am thinking to do the physical aspects now to keep me fit for the Olympics."