Hyderabad: After winning an elusive gold at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games, ace Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap is now eyeing a medal at the upcoming World Championship and Asian Games.
Kashyap, who returned home yesterday after achieving the historic feat at Glasgow, said his priority is to recover from the gruelling 11-day tournament and become match fit before heading to Denmark. "I always set short term goals. Right now, it is the world championship and the Asian Games for me. I need to be fit for these two events," Kashyap told PTI here in an interview.
The 27-year-old etched his name firmly in the history books by becoming the first Indian male shuttler in 32 years to win a gold in the Commonwealth Games. The shuttler from Hyderabad thus joined badminton legend Prakash Padukone and the late Syed Modi, who had won the title in the past. While Padukone had won the men`s singles gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Modi retained it four years later.
Asked what does this medal means to him, Kashyap said: "It (the Gold Medal) means everything to me. It is a very big achievement in my career. I am very happy," said the London Olympics quarterfinalist. There is a lot of pressure on him being the top Indian shuttler but Kashyap said he always plays better under pressure and hoped to do well at the World Championship, which starts on August 25th at Copenhagen.
"I have not thought about it (pressure) yet. I am happy that I have won this medal. I am going to prepare for the World Championship and I have always done well in pressure. If I feel pressure, then I think it is a positive thing for me," said Kashyap, who had come close to winning a World Championship medal in 2013.
Kashyap, who won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in 2012, said there are several areas that he needs to improve upon before heading to Copenhagen.
"There are a lot of areas that I need to improve and I will keep working on them," Kashyap, who is currently ranked world number 22 in men`s singles, said.
When pointed out that competition at the international level is increasingly getting tougher, he said the only way he could stay ahead is by working harder. "The only way is get tougher. Then it becomes easier. So, if I work hard in training then it will be easier for me," said Kashyap, who overcame a nagging asthma problem, to play the sport.
Asked if he felt there is not enough time to prepare for the big tournaments like World Championship and Asian Games, Kashyap replied in the negative. "I don`t feel the time is short. Whatever I have done, I have done to the maximum of my potential till now. I will keep trying my best," he said.