New Delhi: Ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth Thursday said that the prestigious Arjuna award, in addition to the encouraging words by legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, has made him hungrier to scale new heights.
Srikanth, whose impressive performance this season made him break into the top-5, revealed that Tendulkar recently told him that he would become the numero uno soon.
Srikanth had a meeting with Tendulkar ahead of the World Championships when he had visited his uncle's place in Hyderabad, on August 4.
"I was thrilled to meet him. He is a legend. As a kid I too used to follow him. He had come to one of my uncle's place where I met him. I didn't get much time to talk, but in those 5-7 minutes that I spent with him, he told me that I would definitely become the World No. 1 someday. It was a big thing coming from Tendulkar," Srikanth said.
The 22-year-old won his maiden India Super Series, Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold titles, reached the final of Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January and also rose to the world No. 3 spot in June, besides winning the China Open over the past one year.#
Asked about his reaction on getting the Arjuna, Srikanth said: "I have been performing really well this year. I knew I had a chance, so I was expecting it. It is a big honour for me. This being an Olympic year, it does give an extra motivation to work harder," he said.
"However, I had no idea about the award before I started playing badminton. Later, I saw (Parupalli) Kashyap get it after the Olympics, Ashwini (Ponnappa) also got it, (PV) Sindhu got it in 2013. So I knew if I can perform well, I too will get it someday," Srikanth added. (PTI)