More than anything else, Glasgow Commonwealth gold medalist Parupalli Kashyap would like to forget year 2016 as a bad dream. A calf muscle tear and then a knee injury aborted his plans of taking part in the Rio Olympics.
“These two injuries shattered my Olympic dream. The German Open injury in May blew away my Olympic chances. I would have been the first male Indian badminton singles player to be part of two Olympics. But destiny proved otherwise,’’ rued the 30-yearold shuttler from the city, who is on a comeback trial after he underwent a major knee surgery in April, while speaking to N Jagannath Das.
On yet another comeback
So far so good as I reached the semifinals of the Korean Open tournament before losing to top seed Son Wan Ho in a close encounter. I’m feeling confident. I’m getting my form and rhythm back. It took almost two months to get back to form after the injury break. I was getting performances in the first few tournaments but I was not able to perform consistently for three or four days in a tournament.
Eventually, in Korea I could play my normal game. I had my chances to win the tournament. I’m improving. I’m on my road to top competition form and I’m confident of winning Super Series titles in the New Year.
On his injuries in 2016
Sadly, 2016 was full of injuries to me. However, I ended with good performances in Korea. But on the whole, I was fighting injuries. I did not play much and I played one tournament at the start of the year in January; that also I had come back after a calf-muscle tear injury. The second one at German Open, where I twisted my knee, was a bigger blow and I had to undergo surgery.
On his dreams and Olympics
I was in very good form at the start of the year and I was ranked number seven in the world. But these two injuries shattered my Olympic dream. The German Open injury blew away my Olympic chances.
On the difficulty to cope with injuries
It is difficult to accept the reality. I had done all the hard work and my ranking was pretty high. You never know I even could have won a medal at Rio Olympics. But destiny proved otherwise. I had to accept the fact and move on. It was very disappointing year and if I had participated in Rio I would have been the first male Indian badminton singles player to be part of two Olympics. However, I’m happy I’m back on the court.
On the New Year
I want to win Super Series title which I think I’m capable. I am also looking at All England and the World Championship. I’m hungry and determined to do this time.
On PBL and Chennai Smashers
The 11-point format in Premier Badminton League is different from the usually 21-point. You cannot make much of it. We cannot judge ourselves with our performances in PBL. It is just an event to try and win it for the team. It is more of team spirit and it is basically to enjoy the event.
On world competition
My ranking is around 60 now after I was ranked 120 odd after my injury. I am working on fitness, focusing more on speed and endurance. I should be in good shape. It is an open field in world competition. In fact, the competition is very tough in India itself. It is basically to qualify for the World Championship. It is quite a tight race. Internationally, it is very tough as there are experienced players like Lin Dan or Lee Chong Wei. Apart from that the young crop who are dangerous and lively.