Armed with CWG gold, shuttler Kashyap ready for bigger things
The Commonwealth Games gold medal is a big motivating factor for top Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap to prepare for the tougher World Championships and Asian Games.
But not much has changed for the 27-year-old after he emulated legends Prakash Pradukone (1978) and Syed Modi (1982) by winning the men's singles gold at Glasgow.
"Nothing has changed in life, barring a couple of pleasant receptions on return home by the sports ministry in Delhi and the Telangana government in Hyderabad," Kashyap told IANS from Hyderabad.
"I am happy at making it to the record books as a gold medal winner. Otherwise there is not much to talk about," said the Hyderabadi.
The Pullela Gopichand protege is now concentrating on the Aug 25-31 World Championships in Copenhagen and the Sep 19-Oct 4 Asian Games in Incheon.
"I got back to training straight after we came back as the two events are very important and I am just concentrating on them."
The former World No.6 was aiming for a top-10 rank to earn a better draw at the world meet. However, a major shoulder injury stopped him from hitting top form and re-entering the top-10 in the world.
"I was aiming for a better ranking which would have given me an easier draw. However, I was ranked somewhere around 20s when the draw was made and that explains the tough draw," said Kashyap.
The World No.27 has drawn Germany's Dieter Domke in the opener at the World Championships. Though the Indian has a strong 5-1 record against the World No.43, Domke beat Kashyap the last time the two played at the Thomas Cup in New Delhi in May.
If the Indian wins, Malaysia's World No.1 and top seed Lee Chong Wei will most likely be waiting for him in the second round. Against the Malaysian, the Indian is yet to take a game let alone winning in their previous four meetings.
"I just need to play my best game. I don't have any special plans. At the World Championships, everyone has a chance. The important thing for me is to maintain my focus. It all depends on how the conditions are in Copenhagen," said Kashyap, who came close to winning the bronze at the 2013 Guangzhou World Championships.
However, the Arjuna Awardee hasn't had much time to prepare for the world meet due to the Commonwealth Games which, according to him, have been very taxing.
"I have had very little time to prepare for the World Championships, only about 7-10 days. CWG was a long event, almost 20 days which included preparation time, team championships followed by the individual championships," said Kashyap, who also won the CWG men's singles bronze and the team championship silver in 2010.
"It was physically and mentally very taxing. Even though the level is not that high, it drains you out. It takes time to recover and get back in shape for another big tournament and I am trying my best to get into shape for the Copenhagen and Incheon majors."
(Sandip Sikdar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Posted on 21-08-2014)