Kashyap eyeing Oly glory after recent showings

Hyderabad: Placed 22nd in the world rankings P Kashyap is aware of the tough challenge that awaits him in the upcoming Olympics, but the ace Indian shuttler still feels he has a good chance of finishing on the podium in London, courtesy his recent good showings on international stage.

Kashyap made it to men`s singles semi-finals of this year`s Indonesia Open in Jakarta after upsetting world number three Chen Long of China and world number 16 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark, and riding on this performances he is hoping to to create history in London.

"I have been doing well this year. I have been improving in every tournament. I beat a couple of world top 10 players (this year). My ranking is also improving steadily. I am hopeful that I will do well in Olympics," Kashyap told PTI.

"My expectation is to win a medal for my country (in the Olympics), and I think I have a chance. After my recent performances, I think I stand a good chance," he added.

With a good outing in the Olympics, Kashyap is also hoping to break into the top 10 rankings this year. "I want to reach the top 10 rankings. That is my aim," said Kashyap, who edged past compatriot Ajay Jayaram to qualify for the London Olympics after Chen Jin of China gave him a walk over in the quarterfinals of the India Open Super Series.

"But I have not set any time-frame. I would like to achieve the feat this year. I have played in two semi-finals in the Super Series events and if I continue to play like this my rankings will also improve," Kashyap said.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist shuttler credited his mentor and national coach Pullela Gopichand for his rise on the world stage. "We are lucky to have Gopi sir as our coach. He is very hard working and passionate. The credit goes to him for all my good results," Kashyap insisted.

"I am trying to improve in all areas. My game is basically attacking, so errors happen in such situations. But my effort now is to cut down on errors and try to play long rallies," he said.

He said he is working hard on his fitness during the three weeks in the run-up to the Olympics.
Asked about the prospects of other Indian shuttlers in the London Olympics, Kashyap said: "I think Saina (Nehwal) obviously stands a good chance. She is in very good form."