Kidambi Srikanth

Hyderabad, June 27 (IANS) After winning two back to back Superseries titles, Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has now set his eyes on the upcoming World Championship in August.

Srikanth, who returned home on Tuesday after bagging the Indonesian and Australian Open titles, said his focus is on the World Championship in the coming six weeks and he would not play any other tournament.

Proudly displaying the medals, the World No. 11 said the last two weeks have been fantastic for Indian badminton.

He also thanked India’s chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, his other coaches and the physio for his success.

“My special thanks to Gopi sir. Without him, I would not have been here for sure. I can’t imagine playing badminton at this level without him,” said the 24-year-old.

Srikanth, who became only the fifth player in the world to reach three successive Superseries finals, did not single out any particular match when asked which was the toughest.

“Every match was tough,” said the shuttler, who defeated reigning Olympic and World Champion Chen Long of China in Australian Open final on Sunday.

Srikanth said the new Badminton Association of India (BAI) President, Himanta Biswa Sarma, has been very kind and supportive from the day he took over.

Srikanth, along with two other shuttlers H.S. Prannoy and Sai Praneeth, was felicitated by Gopichand Badminton Academy and Hyderabad District Badminton Association President Chamundeswarnath.

“These two weeks were fantastic not just for me but also for Prannoy and Sai. It was an unfortunate semi-final for Prannoy at the Indonesian Open. I would have loved to play the final with him,” said Srikanth.

Prannoy shocked defending champion Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the pre-quarterfinal and defeated Chen Long in the quarter-final but went down fighting to Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai in the semi-final.

Srikanth was presented with prize money of Rs 3 lakh for his Indonesia Open win and another identical amount for his Australian Open feat by IDBI Federal.

Prannoy was presented a cheque of Rs 2 lakh for his Indonesia Superseries Premier semi-final win.

Earlier, Srikanth landed to a rousing reception from family and friends. Proud parents Krishna Mohan and Radha Mukunda hugged their son, flanked by a host of relatives and friends, who had turned up to receive the Guntur lad.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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