New Delhi : Ace shuttler Parupalli Kashyap, who finished with a bronze at the Delhi Commonwealth Games four years ago, says he is targeting a gold medal in the men’s singles and hopes lady luck will be on his side during the Glasgow edition.
“Gold is a realistic target. With (World No. 1 shuttler) Lee Chong Wei withdrawing, it has opened up the tournament. I am the second seed and I know I can win the gold,” Kashyap told PTI ahead of the team’s departure to Glasgow, Scotland.
“However, it is not going to be easy as we have players like Wei Feng Chong and Rajiv Ouseph. They both are good players. Rajiv won the silver last time and he had some good results against Chinese players. He also did well at European Championship,” he added.
The 2012 London Olympics quarter-finalist said K Srikanth and RMV Gurusaidutt also have bright chances of bagging medals. “Both Srikanth and Gurusaidutt also have a good chance to win. Both have done well and has nothing to lose. Something that was my case four years back.
“Srikanth is unpredictable but he knows he has won the Thailand Open and beaten some top players. In 2010, I had not won the nationals even but he won it this year. Guru, too, was good in Thomas Cup,” he said.
Kashyap said he hoped to see himself and his colleagues give their best ever performance at the July 23-August 3 event.
“We won four medals four years ago and I hope this time it turns out to be our best ever Commonwealth Games. We have (P V) Sindhu in women’s singles, me and K Srikanth, too, have a bright chance of winning medals in men’s singles, especially with Lee Chong Wei pulling out.
“Also Jwala and Ashwini should get a medal in women’s doubles. They are playing good. With Jwala back in the mix, they had some good results at the Uber Cup, Asian Badminton Championship and also at Indonesia and Japan. It will be difficult in men’s and mixed doubles but if they can pull off nothing better,” said Kashyap.
Asked about the mixed team event, Kashyap said: “It will be very interesting and we are definitely in the mix for a medal. “England will depend on mixed doubles and men’s singles and they have a decent men’s doubles. Singapore will depend on their doubles, mainly mixed and women’s, while Malaysia will need men’s singles and men’s doubles. While for India, it will be men’s and women’s singles, as well as women’s doubles.”
Talking about his form and fitness, Kashyap said: “It has been a difficult year for me with my shoulder troubling me. But now it has stabilised. I am still tapping it but it doesn’t bother me. I am comfortable.
“I had a good preparation for the last two weeks with special emphasis on strengthening my legs and some weight training. Otherwise it was all about sharpening the basics.
“I played well in Japan and Indonesia but I was unlucky as I lost from match points. I knew if I can cross the first hurdle I can go deeper in the event but I was short on luck. So I am hoping that luck favours me this time,” said the 27-year-old.
Kashyap has been leading the men’s singles ever since the Commonwealth Games bronze and he said it has been extremely difficult. “In 2010, Chetan (Anand) was India’s No. 1, while me and Anup were in the 20s and 30s and so it was extremely happy moment for me when I won the bronze,” said Kashyap, who bagged the 2012 Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold.
“In the next two years, I broke into the top 10 and I have been inside top 20 for five years now. It’s not easy. But I have to work harder. I want to be back in the top 10 by this year end,” he signed off. PTI
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