Kidambi Srikant | A World-Class Shuttler

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His Life: Shining Star of Indian Badminton

  • Year 1993 – Born in Guntur, Andra Pradesh.
  • Year 2011 – Debuted with the Common Wealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man.
  • Year 2012 – Won the Men’s Singles Title defeating the junior world champion.
  • Year 2014 – Won the BWF China open.
  • Year 2015 – Won the BWF Indian open and the Swiss Open Grand Prix.
  • Year 2017 – Won the BWF French, Denmark, Australian and Indonesian open.
  • Year 2018 – Conferred with the Padma Shri.

“I am a badminton player now because I was very bad at studies.”

Srikanth Kidambi is an Indian Badminton player considered as one of the finest players in the world. He became the first male player from India and third overall to achieve the number one spot in the modern BWF (Badminton World Federation) rankings. His incredible journey and rise to success after almost losing his life to brain fever is a saga of courage and determination.

Childhood

Srikanth Nammalwar Kidambi was born to KVS Krishna, a landlord and an agriculturalist and Radha, a homemaker, in the Guntur District of Andra Pradesh on February 7, 1993. He has an older brother K. Nandagopal who is also a badminton player. Their parents were very supportive of their decision to pursue a career in sport and nurtured them to realize the same. Srikanth and his brother also played cricket at the District level before being motivated to pick up an individual sport by their father. It was also their father who inspired them to make a decision between sports and academics and to take one seriously.

Personal Life

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Srikanth received his training from the Gopichand Badminton Academy, Hyderabad under the tutelage of Pullela Gopichand.

Career Journey

Srikanth’s career started in 2011 with the Common Wealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man. He won silver in mixed doubles and bronze in doubles. He also won medals in the All India Junior Badminton Championship. In 2012, he claimed the men’s singles title from Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia. In 2013, he won the Men’s Title in the Thailand Open Grand Prix defeating Boonsak Ponsana, world number 8. In 2014, he reached the semi finals of the famous BWF series by defeating Tommy Sugiarto and Kento Momota in the group stages but lost the final to Chen Long of China. Srikanth created history by becoming the first Indian to win the Swiss Open Grand Prix title by defeating Viktor Axelsen in 2015. Later that year he won the men’s singles title in the Indian open series, beating Viktor Axelsen of Denmark yet again.

In the Rio Olympics of 2016, he reached the quarterfinals by defeating World No 5 Jan O Jorgensen. In 2017, he won the French Open Series by defeating Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto. He also won the Indonesia Open Series by defeating Japanese player Kajumasa. In June the same year, he won the Australian Open Series by defeating Chen Long. Srikanth won gold in the mixed team event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast. Kidambi also won silver in the single team event and as a result of his performance won top ranking.

Awards and Recognition

Srikanth became the highest ranked men’s badminton player in April 2018. The same year, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award.

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The journey of Srikanth has been a result of determination and hard work coupled with humility and respect. From supervising agricultural operations in the kharif and rabi season to becoming the first male player from India and third overall to achieve the number one spot in the modern BWF rankings, the story is incredible and continues to write its own chapters.

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