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Was shocked to see the next year’s BWF calendar, says Kidambi Srikanth | Badminton News – Times of India


MUMBAI: Athletes across sports have often complained about a busy schedule hampering their physical and mental fitness and ability to keep producing top notch performances. It has been a problem with badminton, where the Badminton World Federation normally chalk out a choc-a-block calendar.
On Thursday, former world No 1 male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth pointed out his concern at the overloaded international badminton schedule in 2023, highlighting how it would make things difficult for badminton players in an Olympic qualification year. As per the BWF official website, there are 31 events scheduled in the World Tour calendar for 2023-24, with an increased number of Super 1000, Super 750, and Super 500 tournaments interspersed throughout the season. The race to the Paris Olympics qualification will begin on May 1, 2023, with the period of initial qualification determination being from 28 April 2024 to 30 April 2024.
Srikanth felt that the busy BWF calendar was “much better pre-covid.” “It was much better pre-covid, because we used to have 3 back-to-back tournaments, but once in a year. After two back-to-back tournaments, there was a gap of 2 weeks. But now, when I saw the calendar for the next year, I was really shocked to see some 6-7 tournaments (scheduled) back to back, and that too, twice. So, that’s tough and physically challenging. You’ve to pick and choose (which events to play in). Since it’s the year of Olympic qualification, you can’t really skip tournaments. So, we are put in a situation where we can’t really skip tournaments, and we can’t play tournaments at 100%,” Srikanth said here on Thursday.
So, how does he tackle this schedule and avoid a burnout? “See, you can’t skip the Asian Games (next year), you can’t skip the Super 1000 or Super 750 series events. So, it’s just about prioritizing which tournaments to play, maintaining your body and being physically fit to play. That’s the only option,” he said.
Srikanth explained his roadmap to the Olympics two years down the line. “It’s a long time (ahead). The qualification process (for the Olympics) will start in 7 months. Presently, I’m just looking at sorting things out, being injury-free and fit. The next 7 months I’m just looking to figure out other things like fitness. So, those 12 months will be as important as the Olympics, because for us, it’s not about a single competition, but maintaining the ranking. If I play less tournaments, it’s about playing well in those events,” explained the 29-year-old, while speaking to the reporters at a GO Sports Foundation event.
Srikanth revealed that he is unlikely to play in the upcoming National Games in Gujarat. “I represent Andhra Pradesh. They don’t have an entry in the team event in badminton. We are still figuring this out, because I’m injured (stiff back) at the moment. So, I haven’t been able to practice,” Srikanth said. “I’m looking to play in the Denmark Open and in France. next month. The first priority for me at the moment is to start training and get back to my 100%,” he stressed.
Considering the superb, consistent performances of India’s male shuttlers this year, which has seen them clinch their maiden Thomas Cup title, the men’s doubles gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and the bronze medal in the BWF World Championships, India can hope to win its maiden medal in the men’s badminton at the Olympics, in the 2024 Games in Paris, felt Srikanth. “I came very close to winning a medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. It’s always a possibility, it’s just that you’ve to be at your best. We definitely have a chance. It’s about not just singles, but also men’s doubles. If we can be consistent throughout, we surely have a chance,” Srikanth said.





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