New Delhi: Indian shuttler RMV Gurusaidutt on Monday said the Commonwealth Games bronze medal has helped him regain belief in himself as he was battling fitness doubts ahead of the match.
Guru had to play three gruelling matches in a little over a day and the Indian said he was "tensed and doubtful" about his fitness before his bronze medal contest against Rajiv Ouseph but he decided to go without any expectations.
"It was really close match. The conditions are very slow here and I had to play a lot of rallies. I was not expecting to win. I just wanted to stick to my strategy and kept telling myself to keep fighting," Guru told PTI.
"It was extremely tiring because I had a close match on Friday night against top seed Cheng Wei Feng and then in the morning I played Derek Wong and then within few hours I had to play the bronze medal match.
"So when I was playing there was lots of questions in my mind like if I will last the match. I knew it is going to be another long match and so I was tensed and doubtful. I was not feeling strong on my legs during the third game in the first match but Gopi Sir really pumped me up and that really pushed me, I am happy I could win," said Guru, who had won the singles title at 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.
The 24-year-old was desperate for such a victory ever since making foray into international
circuit in 2008 and he said it will act as a great motivation for him.
"It was disappointing to miss the finals but this medal has boosted my confidence and it is completely different feeling. It made me belief in myself. Such a medal changes everything, we have seen that with Kashyap. It is a life time achievement. The recognition and the motivation that one gets is immense. I hope I can keep pushing myself further and it changes my career," he said.
"Last two months I have been playing well. The Thomas Cup was a big turning point. It was a team championship and we don`t get to play such big events much and so to perform at that stage helped my confidence. I had worked on my net game and it sort of opened up my game. I am more confident at the nets now," he added.
Guru said he is aiming to do well at the Asian Games and super series tournaments. "I`m not in the (August 2014) world championships because I didn`t qualify because I do not have a high enough ranking. I will be playing the Asian Games team event next. I don`t think I will qualify for the individuals as only two singles players are selected and Kashyap and Srikanth are higher in rank. So my role will be to play the third singles in team event like Thomas Cup," he said.
"There are not many big events before the Asian games. So there is no chance of improving the ranking points now. Or else may be I could have carried the momentum in Asian games too. So I will look to do well in the Super Series events in October starting with Denmark Open," he added.
Guru, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 BWF World Junior Championships, said he wants to stay injury free and break into the top 15 by this year end.
"I would like to be inside the top 20 by this year end. I have not played too many events this year and the main target will be to stay injury free because I generally play well and have had good results, reaching the quarters. So If i can stay fit, I can reach the top 15 too by this year end," he said.
"But I will have to put a lot of work in next month to build up strength on my legs so that I can play well in such slow and tough conditions where we need to play a lot of long rallies. I need to gain strength on upper body as well."
Guru didn`t forget to thank his coaches Pullela Gopichand and Madhumita Bist for helping him during the tough matches.
"During match, you tend to forget the strategy sometimes, sometimes you get carried away. That happened to me during the morning match and I couldn`t win the match. But during the bronze medal contest, Gopi sir told me few points and it helped me. Also Madhumita ma am, she is so experienced, it helps a lot to have them by your side," he said.