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Giant-killer Srikanth unperturbed by pressure of expectation

Source: PTI
November 26, 2014 22:06 IST
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Having beaten two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan to clinch the China Open title, India's latest badminton star K Srikanth said he is now confident of doing well in the future.

Stating that his victory over Lin Dan has raised expectations of his fans, Srikanth said, "I don't want to take pressure. I want to take them as my well-wishers (those having expectations from him). I am fully confident (of doing well for the future)."

Currently ranked World No. 10, Srikanth insisted that he will "achieve more wins on the international circuits in the future".

The 21-year-old shuttler admitted it was not easy to beat Lin Dan, a five-time World Champion.

"It was little tough (defeating Lin Dan). We had a few strategies. My coaches (accompanying him) supported me a lot. I am very thankful to them," Srikanth said at a press conference, where he was felicitated by leading sports equipment manufacturing company, Li-Ning.

Acknowledging the contribution of his 'guru' (chief national India coach) Pullela Gopichand, Srikanth said the victory would not have been possible without him.

Srikanth, who won a few tournaments like Grand Prix Gold and All India Senior National Championship in the past, said his senior colleagues like Parupalli Kashyap helped him in learning the tricks of the trade.

Srikanth, who started off as a doubles player but took to singles on Gopichand's advice, said it was tough to make the shift.

Srikanth's won the China Open on November 16, which also happens to Gopichand's birthday and the coach said it was his happiest birthday.

"It was the happiest birthday in my life. I don't remember the occasion when I was so happy," Gopichand said.

Gopichand said it would be a challenge to plan ahead for Srikanth following his China Open Super Series victory.

Image: K Srikanth

Photograph: Stanley Chou/Getty Images

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