From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Ranveer Singh, from PV Sindhu to Sachin Tendulkar, hailed Kidambi Srikanth for winning a silver medal at the recently concluded TotalEnergies BWF World Championships.
The former world no.1 created history by becoming the first Indian men’s singles shuttler to achieve this feat. He lost to Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew in straight games in the finals of the season-ending championships.
Srikanth with this has broke into the top 10 of world rankings for the first time in two years.
No doubt that this feat has put Srikanth alongside Prakash Padukone, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, and Sai Praneeth. His victory has breathed a new life in Badminton India.
But is this achievement “a boon or bane”?
The 28-year-old Ravulapalem boy has come a long way in Badminton. Achieved many things that are first of their kind in the country. Be it world no.1 or winning 4 super series titles in a calendar year or winning the silver medal at the world championships, all of these accomplishments are unique in their own way.
His success story like any others is filled with hard work and fortitude. Battling his way through the world ranking, defeating champions like Lin Dan to titles, and recovering through career-threatening injuries, Srikanth’s career has seen it all.
Srikanth’s silver has given a much-needed respite for men’s badminton in the country. But this is just another nimble feat towards India becoming a badminton powerhouse.
If ever India wants to be considered as a badminton citadel along with China, Indonesia, Denmark, Japan, and Malaysia we need higher numbers of participants in international events and title contenders tournament after tournament. We might be grinning with a silver and bronze at the world championships but we should remember that this is the first time that the Indian men’s singles have been able to come back with two medals in a major championship in the last two years.
The Japanese, or the Chinese, or the Danes, or the Indonesians have always been featuring in the top 2 of any championship in the last decade in all categories.
The current Indian lot has passed their prime and it looks like 9 out of 10 players won’t be in the planning of Paris 2024, it is a serious concern for Indian Badminton.
Can this latest achievement help us write another great chapter in Indian Badminton? Time will answer.