Racing against time to seal his Olympic berth, a fit-again Parupalli Kashyap is back in the hunt for the Rio spot after recovering from a series of injuries which derailed his preparation for the Summer Games.
Kashyap will be participating in three tournaments on the European circuit starting with German Grand Prix Gold from Wednesday, followed by the prestigious All England Championship (8-13 March) and Swiss Grand Prix Gold (15-20 March).
“I’ve butterflies in the tummy. After four months of intensive training and rehab, it feels great to be back on the international circuit. All England open and Swiss Open to follow soon,” said Kashyap, who will take on Ukraine’s Artem Pochtarev in his opening round of German Open.
I didn’t play the BAC in Hyderabad, I was training then. I just want to do well in the first match and rest will fall into place. I am happy with my preparation, I have reached a good level now considering where I was two months back.
“So it is one tournament at a time for me. With the experiences that I had last few months, can’t think ahead more than today. I’ll need all the best wishes to help me perform my best in the upcoming season,” he added.
Once the world No. 8, Kashyap has now slipped to 17, owing to a series of injuries which started with the calf muscle tear in October last year. He played in the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold but could not defend the title, bowing out in the quarterfinals after sustaining an abdominal strain.
He was named in the team for the South Asian Games which was held in Guwahati and Shillong early this month but after
repeated requests to BAI and SAI, he was put out of the team at the last moment.
The 29-year-old also skipped the Badminton Asia Team Championship which was held in his home city Hyderabad but now
he is eyeing Olympic qualification with just eight weeks left to earn a berth for Rio Games.
The Indian shuttler will look to do really well in the international events to fetch crucial qualifying points before the 1 May cut-off date, by which he has to be in the top-16 to qualify.
“I lost out a lot of time because of the injury. I missed out on as many as seven tournaments. I managed to play at PBL and Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold but again I had an abdominal strain in Lucknow and I had to withdraw from Thailand Masters as well,” Kashyap had said.