It was a week that saw some of the top Indian players go back to their normal world – traveling, hotels and the adrenaline rush of top-flight international sports.
Kidambi Srikanth saw nothing less than an ‘adventure’ competing in an international tournament – Denmark Open – after seven months, while table tennis player G Sathian, in his first match in Polish, put the first few balls on the table on Friday ‘ Goosebumps’ did. open. Sourav Ghoshal and Joshna Chinappa also won on the squash court at the CIB Egypt Open. The pandemic completely halted the sport in March, with Indian athletes struggling to resume training and return to top fitness. Getting matches under his belt has been a major problem. They have now started venturing and testing themselves.
The world number 32 Sathian traveled from Chennai to Warsaw and cared little about the cold weather, as he set out for his club-Sokolo SA Jarsolav. The Polish league began with a win against Sokolin Mickey in the hours following his arrival. “I took my first match playing fart. There were barely 10 people in the stand and they were playing digital drums. The environment was completely different, ”Sathian told Poland.
He said, “I was very nervous and nervous but I found my rhythm till the end and am happy to pull it out in five matches.” Approaching the Kovid-19 trials, it was a challenging period. I arrived in Warsaw late at night after a 14-hour battle and then four hours on the road. It is very cold. My team asked me if I would like to rest the next day but I wanted to start now. “
During the lockdown, Sathiyan had two in mind whether to travel outside Chennai for the national camp. He started with a robot as his partner at home, and when restrictions were lifted, he was able to train with coach and former international S. Raman. As the international TT did not begin, Sathian looked for other options to obtain quality match practice. The chance to play in the Polish League came in late June, but it was another struggle to get approval.
“Everything was uncertain during the lockout. Things were changing everyday. It was as if we were against an opponent, about which we have no clue. But I wanted to play at any cost. I do not want to compete in the Olympic qualification tournament next year without any practice. I trained well but playing matches is like a different skin for us. It is a different feeling. I enjoyed the pressure, the ups and downs in the match. It was really surprising because my opponent has been playing in the league for two months. “
Sathian plans to play in the Japanese League, or to train with the Polish national team. “I only have 3-4 matches to play because the league is ending.”
In Odense, Srikanth also had a different feeling in his first outing. Although he lost in an intense quarter-final (20-22, 21-13, 21-16) against second-seeded Chou Tien Chen on Friday, there were glimpses of his old form that left him out for more than a year. Had done it. He impressed in his win against Toby Panty and Anthony Ho-Shu in the first two rounds.
He said, ‘I am playing after a long time. It is like an adventure. This situation is somewhat new. I have not been away for this long, and am happy the way I went, ”said Srikanth, who is no longer 14 in the world, after his first match.
Srikanth last played in All England where he lost in the first round. There was no end to his struggle on the court. Seven months away from the game seemed to serve him well. He looked sharp and played his attacking game. He was minimal with his tight spinning net shots and was patient in controlling rallies.
He said, ‘I have not practiced much match. But I think I am coming back slowly. This will take some time, as there will be no tournament after this.
“There will be a pause in the season, so it can take time to feel the match,” he said.
During the break, Indonesian coach Agus Davy Santoso will tell Srikanth to ‘believe in himself’. “I am training with a new coach and it helps us understand where we are and how to prepare us for the next season. When you play a top player like Chow, you have to be at the top in your game. I’m happy with the way I’ve played here. “
In fact it was a crazy start for international badminton that was most uncertain on tour players as to what to expect from their bodies and from their opponent. Nothing exemplifies this more than the match between Lakshya Sen and Hans-Christian Solberg Vittingas.
Lakshya comfortably won world junior no. 1 finished in their first round against Christo Popov. He took the first game against Vittingas, who was cramping, but kept fighting.
Kishore Lakshya drowned himself in a set of errors in the second game. Vitthas had enough reserves to push Lakshya, who was now dead. Vithingas eventually won 15–21, 21–7, 21–17.
“Our strategy was on fitness and making witters’ play,” explains Lakshitha’s father and coach DK Sen. “Her rival was struggling, but Lakshmi was making a lot of mistakes. He is still learning. Physically he did well and told me that he lacked fitness. “
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