Written by Shahid Decide
| Mumbai |

Revealed: June 30, 2020 9:19:46 pm

Kidambi Srikanth is awaiting the go-ahead from the state authorities for the reopening of the camp which could face one other even handed delay as Telangana mulls over a cautionary lockdown. (Supply: Twitter/@srikidambi)
There was some mild seen, on the finish of this three-month-long tunnel for the nation’s star badminton gamers. A nationwide camp was scheduled for July 1 in Hyderabad. That was the plan, till circumstances in Telangana began to spike, and the state may now take into account re-imposing one other lockdown – successfully rendering the camp unlikely. It’s a choice that has stored world no 14 Kidambi Srikanth rooted to his dwelling in Guntur in the meanwhile.
“We’re all here in Guntur at the moment,” mentioned Srikanth’s older brother and fellow-shuttler Ok Nandagopal. “At the moment we’re waiting to see what the state government decides, if there is going to be a lockdown for a few weeks. Once things are cleared, then we can head to Hyderabad for the camp.”
Staying dwelling retains the 27-year-old Srikanth away from the grind of the game for only a whereas longer. However being dwelling in Guntur, along with his dad and mom, doesn’t imply he’s free to desert his chores.
And so, when the state of affairs calls for, Srikanth places on his masks and steps outdoors to buy groceries. He will get within the queue, places on the sanitizer, patiently waits for the thermal scan, after which carries on to load the buying cart. All through the train, he feels a level of freedom. With a masks on, no one recognises him.
“When you go out and people recognise you, you are cautious about what all you do. Now nobody can recognise me, so I feel relaxed and free,” he mentioned.

On 🎯#QuarantineFun pic.twitter.com/vH2ZKRF5Jn
— Kidambi Srikanth (@srikidambi) Could 19, 2020
In a approach although, this Kidambi Srikanth doesn’t resemble the Kidambi Srikanth who has been among the many most profitable badminton gamers the nation has produced. He doesn’t resemble the person who has been embellished with the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award. And he doesn’t resemble the Srikanth who turned solely the second Indian males’s singles participant to grow to be world no 1. In spite of everything, he’s not in the identical bodily form that he was.
At dwelling, ever for the reason that lockdown was imposed in March, Srikanth hasn’t managed to keep up the bodily prowess wanted to compete on the highest degree of the sport.
“In the last 20 years that I’ve been playing, I’ve never once trained at home because it was all done on court or at the gym,” he mentioned final month. “And now that I’m right here at dwelling, I go searching in any respect the stuff, there may be nothing that’s associated to health. It was laborious to plan issues for a health routine. I’m nonetheless making an attempt to determine it out.
“All I have is a set of dumbbells which I managed to get from a local store and a few resistance bands, and I train for an hour-and-a-half daily. If I was 80 percent fit before the lockdown started, I’m sure I’m about 40 percent now. The kind of training I used to do before the lockdown, it’s something I cannot match if at home. There’s no space to run, there’s no court.”
READ | ‘Lockdown has made it tough for players to returnto full form’: Gopichand
The scarring from this part of lockdown, nonetheless, doesn’t simply contain the bodily facet. An underlying concern has developed about competing on the worldwide degree for the reason that sport is performed indoors. But it surely’s not simply that. Every thing to do with competing in badminton internationally revolves round residing in a confined surroundings stuffed with unknown components.
“When you’re indoor, if there is someone who has the virus, there can be trouble because the air is not circulating. For international competitions, the first thing is I have to go to an airport, then the plane, then the destination airport, which are all indoor,” he defined. “Then I’m staying at a hotel, and I don’t know if the previous occupant’s condition or if the room was properly sanitised… So there are many things included in it. It’s all going to be very risky.”
The lockdown Kidambi Srikanth doesn’t resemble the one who turned solely the second Indian males’s singles participant to grow to be world no. 1. In spite of everything, he’s not in the identical bodily form that he was. (Supply: PTI Photograph)
In the mean time, the Badminton World Federation has introduced the circuit will resume in September with the Taipei Open. However the one factor Srikanth has readability on on the time being is what he must do as soon as coaching amenities are opened. He has to will his thoughts to restart the laborious work. Most significantly, he has to take it gradual.
“When you aren’t doing much for three months, it’s difficult to start,” he mentioned. “And when things do start, you have to take it gradually. You can’t go full throttle because the body might not be able to take it and you can get injured. It’ll take maybe 10 days or so to just get used to the work. Only once that’s done can you start the proper training.”
It’s due to the shortage of coaching that he describes the rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 as one thing that he can not profit from. In the previous few months that the badminton circuit was lively, Srikanth had been going by a tough patch. Within the 5 knockout occasions he has competed in thus far this 12 months, he’s made it to the second spherical simply as soon as, beating compatriot Subhankar Dey in a decent 23-21, 21-18 opening spherical conflict on the Tremendous 300 occasion in Barcelona.
By late February nonetheless, his motion on court docket had began to enhance, and it introduced with it the promise of a return to kind. He had taken a couple of steps ahead, however that’s when the lockdown kicked-in, sending him a couple of hundred steps again.

Escape the peculiar and drown in laborious work…#Throwback #PracticeTime #MajorMissing pic.twitter.com/YqdsbNV4Ka
— Kidambi Srikanth (@srikidambi) Could 5, 2020
“In the last three months, if I had the chance to train, I’d definitely say that postponing the Olympics was beneficial for me. But now I will need time to get back, it’s not exactly a beneficial thing for me,” Srikanth mentioned. “In February, I was starting to do well. I could feel my body reacting well, I could train at my best. But now with this break, I have to start slow, and then by the time I’m back to 100 percent, it’ll be January 2021. So I’m back to the same situation. Now I’m down to 40 percent. I have to work hard to get back to 80, then harder to get to 100. So in a way, there hasn’t been much difference.”
Nonetheless, the lockdown hasn’t been all gloom for him. For it has given him that one factor he has by no means managed to do for greater than two weeks at a stretch, within the final 10 years – spend time at dwelling.
“Home is where you truly unwind, not work (which explains the lack of training equipment). My mom is also enjoying feeding me, so I might be the only one to admit it, but I’m enjoying the lockdown.” he added frivolously.
He’s had a superb fill, of the house meals, the remaining and rest, and simply spend a while away from the grind. However he finds that he’s come to a degree the place he’s began to overlook what he does greatest. And he’s already began to organize himself mentally for the return, to ensure that when the game is ready to renew, he can be able to embrace it.
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