Commonwealth Games debut is a dream realised for me: Kashyap
He could not make the cut for the previous edition and was not too sure about being selected even this time around but poised to make his Commonwealth Games debut now, young Indian shuttler P Kashyap says it has been nothing short of a dream come true for him.delhi Updated: Sep 27, 2010 14:40 IST
He could not make the cut for the previous edition and was not too sure about being selected even this time around but poised to make his Commonwealth Games debut now, young Indian shuttler P Kashyap says it has been nothing short of a dream come true for him.
"It has always been a dream for me to participate in this event. I missed out last time after I lost in the Nationals and couldn't earn my spot in the Melbourne Games team," the 24-year-old Kashyap told PTI.
"Even this time, I was not too sure but then I had a decent season so far. I'm playing well and have beaten some good players on the court. I'm fit and surely in the best form to earn a medal for my country," he added.
Kashyap, along with 2006 Melbourne Games bronze medallist Chetan Anand, will spearhead the Indian men's singles challenge in the Commonwealth Games. Ranked 17th in the world, Anand didn't have a very good season as a recurring knee injury troubled him off and on and a lot would be expected from Kashyap.
World number 29 Kashyap reached the semifinals of the Singapore Super Series in June and the quarterfinals of the Asian Badminton Championships at the Sri Fort complex and looks to be in good touch.
"I had a decent season and my strokes and fitness have improved a lot. We are training very hard and the emphasis is on sharpening skills as it's just a few days to go for the event to start, so I am really excited to play.
"However, it won't be an easy tournament at all. In fact, it would be most difficult to get a medal in the men's singles as Malaysia and England have some good players. But in badminton anything can happen on that particular day and I'm optimistic about my chances," he said.
Badminton was introduced in the Commonwealth Games in 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica, where Dinesh Khanna won a bronze medal for India. Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to win a badminton gold at the 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games and Syed Modi was the second and the last shuttler to win a gold - in 1982 at Brisbane. National Coach Pullela Gopichand also won a bronze at the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998.