Winning the recently concluded Delhi state badminton championships after making an appearance in two consecutive finals in the mens category has brought some much-needed relief for city shuttler Ashish Sharma. This title also calls for a double celebration as Sharma has not only regained the No.1 spot in state rankings but has also received the confirmation to represent Delhi in the Senior Nationals scheduled to take place at Srinagar in September. Ashish has been part of the senior nationals twice before but traveling to Srinagar with the backing of being the states top rank will be a huge motivation for the 20-year-old shuttler.
The excitement isnt about going to Srinagar but to do well. I am focused to put up a good show at the Nationals. The win is a motivation and I think it will help us in qualifying for a medal contention, said Sharma,who won the Delhi state at Ludlow Castle courts,which also happens to be his home venue.
It would be the for first time that Srinagar will host senior Nationals in badminton. With Delhi playing the team event along with eight other states,their method is to take it one step at a time. Their first target is to win the initial two rounds as it will bring them in contention for at least a bronze medal.
As the Srinagar event is still close to two months away,Sharma needs to maintain his ranking to ensure his departure. He is currently clashing with another Delhi heavyweight Sachin Rawat on seven points,whom he defeated to claim the top spot in Delhi. We are very positive this time around because we have all been in good touch. We have a chance to prepare well as another Delhi state is scheduled later in August following with North Zone Championships. The North Zone should give us an edge because we are defending champions and the competition is going to be tough, Sharma added.
As the Srinagar event is still close to two months away,Sharma needs to make sure he maintains his rank in order to depart with the team. He is currently clashing with another Delhi heavyweight Sachin Rawat on seven points,and was able to claim the top spot only after beating him in the State final. Having won the championship,however,confirms my participation but the following tournaments will decide the form. I have to perform consistently so that I am able to focus on senior nationals. If not winning the next Delhi state,I will have to make sure that I play not anything less than semifinals, Sharma said.
Apart from Rawat and Sharma,the other team members will be decided after the North Zone championships.