On Sunday, Kidambi Srikanth’s quest for the World Championship titles ended with the silver as he fell short to Loh Kean Yew of Singapore. In the World Championships finals at Huelva, Srikanth suffered a 21-15, 22-20 loss against World No. 22 Loh Kean Yew and emerged as the runner-up in the final game.
Despite this disheartening loss, Srikanth became the first Indian male to win a silver medal in the World Championships. Previously, the Indian had faced the Singaporean at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 where the Indian shutter was able to grab a victory in straight games.
“In a few tournaments, I played really well and in a few tournaments, I couldn’t play well this year, but again, to reach the final of a world championship is something that I really worked hard for, and I am really happy to be here today,” Srikanth said.
“I will try to continue to work hard, it is a process and there are many other tournaments next year, like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, world championship, so it is a very big year, next year. So I will try to stay positive.”
Currently, Srikanth is the 14th rank holder in the world. He is also the third Indian male to win a medal at this prestigious tournament after Prakash Padukone (1983), B Sai Praneeth (2019), Lakshya Sen (2021).
On Saturday, he registered a 7-21, 21-14, 21-17 win against Lakshay in the semifinals in a marathon match and became the first Indian men’s player to reach the BWF World Championships final. Srikanth had been struggling with his form since winning 4 Super Series titles in 2017. However, he bounced back in the World’s largest stage and clinched the silver.
“It has been a great week. Even today I had my chances in both the games. I had a healthy lead in the first game and, even in the second game, I had an 18-16 cushion. I was not able to finish the match today. Loh played really well,” he said.
On the other hand, Loh, who migrated from Malaysia and reared in Singapore, won Singapore’s first gold in men’s singles. Malaysia has a rich history of badminton but is yet to win a gold in the World Championships.
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