Now my name will never get erased from history: Arvind
New Delhi: He rolled back the years to clinch a major international title at 34 and Indian shuttler Arvind Bhat is satisfied that he could etch his name in badminton history following a taxing week that has taken a toll on his body and mind.
Two-time former national champion, Arvind became only the second Indian after K Srikanth to win a Grand Prix Gold outside India when he outclassed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in an epic final to win the German Open at Mulheim an der Ruhr on Sunday.
"It was unbelievable feeling. I never expected to win this event. My target was to win at least one big title in my career. Although I had this age thing in my mind but I always felt I can do it somehow. Frankly, I was think it will happen some day but I never ever thought even while playing the event that I will win the title,"
"I had a back injury early February when I was in Kolkata for my son`s rice ceremony just before the All India ranking tournament in Bangalore. I still went ahead and played the event and lost to a 16-year-old Siril Varma. And so to go on to win the title is huge, it is a dream come true."
Arvind said initially he was not sure of playing in the German Open and it was his German league club manager Hans Werner Niesner, who convinced him to play in the USD 120,000 Grand Prix Gold event.
"After my back injury in Kolkata, I had decided to stay back and relax and skip playing in German Open but once I played in the Bangalore tournament and my injury didn`t aggravate, my physio told me that my back will be fine and I can go and play in the German Open," Arvind said.
"Before the German Open I had to play a two-day German league match. As I was the main player, they were waiting for me. So my club manager Niesner forced me to come and play in the league and German Open and I went there with a chance and see what happened," he added.
The 34-year-old from Bangalore said it was as tough mentally as it was physically, to sustain the rigours of the six-day tournament.
"Physically it was really tough but I was feeling fit. I was raring to go, I was feeling fresh despite not having an ideal preparation. More challenging was the mental part. I was tested completely," he said.