Parupalli Kashyap, who surprised all and sundry by reaching the quarter-finals of the badminton men’s singles event in the Olympics, is disappointed to return empty-handed from London but said the experience has made him more mature as a shuttler.

Though he was not touted as a big medal hope, Kashyap played his heart out in the London Games and became the first Indian male shuttler to reach the quarter-finals in the Olympics, where he lost to world No. 2 and eventual silver medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

“I have learnt a lot of things from the Olympics. I have become mature as a player now. Before the Olympics, I did not have big expectations. I was an underdog but after the first round, I felt I can win a medal here. I can beat anyone on my day,” he told PTI after returning to Hyderabad from London.

“I felt really bad that I lost a chance to win a medal (for India). I was disappointed but at the end of the day it was great learning experience,” he said.

Kashyap said he was in good form going into the Olympics in the wake of his success over world number three Chen Long in the Indonesia Open in June this year.

He said though he won the first match in the London Games comfortably, the second match was not a cake walk and he had to remain focused and play with a sound strategy.

Putting the past behind, Kashyap is now determined to put up a good show in the upcoming Super Series events and other tournaments.

“I have been in good form for the last two months. I am setting short-term goals. I want to continue this form in Japan and China (Super Series events) in a month’s time. I am very aware of it,” the 25-year-old Hyderabadi said.

“And talking about long-term goals you have the All England Championship, next year’s World Championship in China. In two year’s time, you also have the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. But I am not thinking too far,” Kashyap signed off.

(This article was published on August 8, 2012)
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