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Shuttler Sridhar relishes his roles in new avatar

Shuttler Sridhar relishes his roles in new avatar

The best he achieved on the international badminton map was a last eight finish at the 2007 world championship, a Commonwealth Games bronze medal, and titles at the Hungarian, and Czech opens.



By Moni Mathews (principal Correspondent)

Published: Fri 12 Jun 2015, 12:36 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:13 PM

Dubai — Once rated as one of India’s brightest prospects, tall and wiry Anup Sridhar did live up to expectations partially when he was a feared floater in the majors of the international circuit.

The best he achieved on the international badminton map was a last eight finish at the 2007 world championship, a Commonwealth Games bronze medal, and titles at the Hungarian, and Czech opens which at one time earned him a top 25 world rating.

Sridhar’s most famous win was over Taufik Hidayat — the then ‘unbeatable’ Indonesian world (2005) and Olympic (2004 Athens) champ — at the 2007 worlds.

Sridhar is today despite injuries especially during the last season, still a Thomas Cup prospect while taking up responsibilities as a mentor and advisor at the Toms Badminton Academy in Bangalore.

“Thomas Kunnath took the initiative to form the academy. It was a joint idea to start the academy which today has many leading names of the badminton scene in India,” said Sridhar after his league rounds at the 38th India Club event.

“Long time England-based coach Tom John had three years ago moved base to India and we happened to be there all at the same time with the same kind of idea — to help promote genuine badminton talent. Today we have grown to be among the top three in the country in a similar mould as the Pullela Gopichand and Prakash Padukone academies.”

The India level players accompanying Sridhar for this year’s UAE Open at India Club are Harshit Agarwal, Mohit Kamat and India number 11, Siddharth Thakur.

“Injuries have been a major issue as one another keeps coming up at crucial moments of my career. But today with the academy doing well I am able to enjoy the sport even more in a dual role as coach cum player. Last year was difficult and my current India ranking have dropped but getting into the Thomas Cup listing was a great feeling — to be still considered among the top in the country,” said the 32-year old Sridhar.

“The academy culture has picked up quickly in India thanks to many factors like the top players being consistent in the Superseries events and the commitment levels of the players, parents and coaches all at one time,” Sridhar continued.

“The sport has to have further groundwork to do before we can ensure that a flow of talent is maintained to match and beat the new talent especially from non-traditional countries.”


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