Kidambi Srikanth continued his stellar run of form as he beat Rio Olympics champion Chen Long in the final of Australian Open Super Series as he became the only Indian male shuttler to win consecutive Super Series title. After winning the Indonesian Open Super Series title, Srikanth improved his BWF rankings and continued his rich form in Sydney. On Srikanth’s achievement, Badminton Association of India (BAI) has announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakhs for Srikanth. The win in Australia is Srikanth’s fourth Superseries title, and by doing so he also became only the sixth player to make it to three consecutive Super Series final on the trot.
After defeating compatriot B Sai Praneeth in the quarters, the 24-year old shuttler defeated Chinese top-ranked Shi Yuqi in straight sets 21-10 and 21-14. After losing the first game to Korea’s Son Wan-Ho in the second round, Srikanth has been at his supreme best against every opponent and won the matches with ease. In the final, the Chinese shuttler Long stood no chance against the Guntur lad going down 20-22, 16-21.
BAI chief Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma was delighted at Srikanth’s feat and congratulated the shuttler for his achievement. “We are really very proud of Srikanth for his achievements. It is simply phenomenal. He has not only made the whole country proud once again but has etched his name among the best and no word would enough to praise Srikanth,” Dr Sarma said.
Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu congratulated Srikanth for winning the Australian Super Series, and said, “it is a moment of pride for India”.
Apart from Srikanth, Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu, London Olympic 2012 bronze medalist Saina Nehwal and Praneeth made it to the quarterfinals of the tournament.