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Have gone through a tough phase, but Olympics on mind: Srikanth
When asked about the Khelo India University Games, Srikanth said the tournament will start a new sporting culture in India.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kidambi Srikanth believes that the Khelo India scheme will produce Olympic medallists in the future. Athletes who perform well at the Khelo India Games are inducted into the Khelo India scheme. The scheme helps the athletes with equipment and first-class infrastructure so that the sportspersons can go on to perform for India at the highest level.
"I think it's very important for youngsters to have financial support. It lifts the burden off the parents and also helps athletes attain their targets. The Khelo India scheme will take care of all expenses once the athlete is included in the program. So, we can definitely see a lot of kids becoming Olympic medallists in the future," said the badminton player.
When asked about the Khelo India University Games, Srikanth said the tournament will start a new sporting culture in India. The first edition of the competition is set to be held in Bhubaneswar from February 22 to March 1.
"The Khelo India University Games is going to start a new culture where the colleges and universities will adapt sports into their study system. Ultimately, this will help more people take up sports," said Srikanth.
The 26-year-old, who has gone through a tough phase in the last six months, is determined to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"I really want to participate in the Olympics and do well. I know I have gone through a tough phase in the last six months, but I am looking forward to regaining my full fitness and doing well. I think the Indian badminton contingent definitely has a very good chance of doing well at the Olympics if we are consistent in the tournament," said Srikanth.
Badminton has become one of India's top sports in the last few years. India produced two Olympic medallists in Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu in the last decade. Srikanth credits the growth of the sport in India to his coach Pullela Gopichand.
"I would like to credit Gopichand sir for the growth of badminton in India. He has created so many champions from his academy. He has built such a good infrastructure when there was nothing at one point," signed off Srikanth.