It was not the best of starts for India in Rio Olympics in last year as far as performance in badminton was concerned. Saina Nehwal was ousted in the first round of the event. She was the only big hope for India in Rio to fetch a medal and her exit meant there was not going to be any excitement left in the Indian fans.
However, from nowhere a certain Kidambi Srikanth emerged out in the competition and played some brilliant badminton. The round of 16 clash against Sweden’s Jan O Jorgensen, who also was the world number 5 is a case in point.
Kidambi, ranked lower than the Swedish opponent knew he was not the hot favourite to win the game but it his confidence as an underdog gave him a huge boost.
The Guntur-born Kidambi raced away to 11-2 lead in the first set before losing his focus a bit. But it did not hamper his confidence. Some solid net play and cross-court smashes worked for him and he wrapped the first set 19-11.
In the second set, the Swedish came hard and as expected, Kidambi was ready for him. He was patient enough to wait for his opportunities as Jan O Jorgensen was looking in haste for points. Kidambi capitalized on his mistakes and scored vital points, wrapping up the second set too 21-19.