Kidambi’s calm demeanour notwithstanding, the Indian shuttler’s never-give-up attitude makes him a special one
Kidambi Srikanth posing with his silver medal in Spain. Pic/Instagram
India’s Kidambi Srikanth is one of a kind. As the BWF World Championships has shown, he cannot be taken for granted. Behind that Buddha-like calm demeanour is a battling crusader who never gives up. He may be down and he eventually was on Sunday, but can’t be written off.
History for Kidambi
Srikanth had to settle for silver after Loh Kean Yew, with determination of a soldier, and precision of a surgeon, sliced through the defence to carve out a resolute victory over the former World No.1 and lift the World Championships singles title.
Despite the loss, Srikanth created history. A mentally strong individual, he fought death when he was diagnosed with brain meningitis and was in ICU for 15 days in July 2014. He won four Super Series titles in 2017 and claimed the No.1 rank in April 2018.
Taking on big names
After some well-earned rest, he will be back tormenting the big names in the game. Meanwhile, Loh, 24, became the first player from Singapore to get a medal of any kind at these championships.
Rising to the rank of Corporal First Class during his compulsory military service from 2016 to 2018, he was the third unseeded player in history of these championships to reach the finals and the first player to win it.
He won 21-15, 22-20 against the very resolute Indian shuttler, who gave everything he could, but in the end could not subdue Loh, who came into the tournament ranked 22 as against Srikanth’s 14 slot. Srikanth settled for silver, but a new year beckons and it’s safe to say that a lack of effort won’t be a reason for him missing out on future moments of glory.