Badminton Life

Sridhar has Busy Schedule Ahead of Olympics

India's main Olympic hope Anup Sridhar is planning a full schedule before the Beijing Games.

Sridhar has only recently recovered from a foot injury that kept him out of action for a while and he doesn't want to waste any time getting back to prime form.

He plans to take part in the Singapore Open this week, the Indonesian Open and, finally, the Thailand Open, before setting his sights on the Olympics.

The 25-year-old from Bangalore told Indian news agency PTI: "They are definitely good preparation for the Olympics. It is an opportunity to get into the frame of mind required for match play.

"I think it is also good timing as there are five to six weeks between Bangkok and Beijing, which gives me ample time to translate my learnings into action and make the final tweaks to my game in a tournament setting."

The Singapore Open is expected to attract a strong field, including world number two Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia, and will give Sridhar an idea of how his rivals have progressed during his time away from the court.

However, he has no illusions about his task at the Olympics, knowing that a medal position will be difficult given the quality of opposition he is likely to face.

"It will give me a good sense of the conditions to expect in Beijing. It will also be good to play against some of my potential opponents and to get a sense of how they are going on their own preparations," he said.

"I am well prepared and confident. I would like to keep it simple. My basic approach will be to take one point at a time, one game at a time and evaluate my opponent and play the best badminton that I can in the context."

Indian players have yet to make a major impact on the Olympic badminton competition but the country has produced world-class players in the past.

Their most notable product is Prakash Padukone, who won the All England men's singles title in 1980.

More recently, Pullela Gopichand, a student of Padukone, emulated his teacher when he won the 2001 All England title.

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