New Delhi: Parupalli Kashyap, the first Indian shuttler to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games, now aims to break into top-15 of world badminton.
Kashyap, who lost his quarter-final match to World No.1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, Wednesday was honoured with the Arjuna Award.
Kashyap said the award will stand in good stead for him.
"I`ll be going to China and Japan in September and my goal is to reach the top 15 in the world. I want to participate in the Super Series events but for that I would have to be in the top eight, that is a bit difficult," Kashyap said after receiving the Arjuna Award from President Pranab Mukherjee.
Kashyap said Saina Nehwal, who won bronze in London Olympic Games, had inspired him to take on the Chinese domination head on.
"The coach (Pullela Gopichand) and Saina have inspired me a lot. She has paved the way for taking on the Chinese. My whole outlook on them has changed and I am not scared of taking them on now," he said.
"The competition is more open now, the Chinese still dominate but the gap to other countries has reduced."
The World No.19 said he had to improve his fitness to reach the top of the rankings.
"I have lacked fitness and fade away towards the end of a match, I have to work on that. Also have to work on my tactical game."
Kashyap felt that the sport required more funding to grow and for it to reach the top level.
"More funding is required for Indian badminton to reach the level where China is today. More juniors in the circuit and just the number of players would take the sport to the next level."