Injured Arjun to miss Malaysia Open but eyes Thailand win
Punjab’s 22-year-old Dhruv and 25-year-old Arjun from Kerala may not have achieved the same success as their better-known compatriots Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (ranked fifth), but their rise from 42nd to 19th in the world rankings in the last 12 months has been a remarkable feat. Not a small achievement.
The past season was full of resounding success for Indian badminton with the young pair of Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun emerging as the second best pair in men’s doubles. Punjab’s 22-year-old Dhruv and 25-year-old Arjun from Kerala may not have achieved the same success as their better-known compatriots Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (ranked fifth), but their rise from 42nd to 19th in the world rankings in the last 12 months has been a remarkable feat. Not a small achievement. In the meantime, victories against higher-ranked players, reaching the quarter-finals of the world’s major tour events including the BWF World Championships and being part of the Thomas Cup-winning team have further fueled his confidence for 2023.
Arjun told PTI, “Even though our pair did not play in the knockout stage, I consider the Thomas Cup win as the biggest achievement. Our performance last season can be divided into before and after the Thomas Cup as it gave us a lot of confidence to convert three-set matches into wins and it showed in our performance. We had a great performance in the World Championship as well, making it to the quarterfinals was a big deal. We also did well in Indonesia Super 1000 (2nd round), Singapore 500 (quarterfinals). Won a Challenger event in India. Such performances have given us the confidence that we can do better.
The qualification race for the Paris Olympics begins on May 1 and the pair said they aim to secure a place in it. Dhruv said, “We have to maintain this level. This is the pre-Olympic year, so the focus will be on qualification. It is difficult but still we have to try it, we believe we can achieve it. From May onwards, we will focus on playing more tournaments.” The Indian pair, currently ranked 21, will need to be in the top eight when the qualifiers list for the Olympics, which ends on April 30, 2024, is announced.
Arjun said, “Our target is to win the Thailand Open in February. We want to do well in this tournament before the European circuit starts in March. Dhruv and Arjun, however, will not play in next week’s Malaysia Super 1000 tournament due to injury. It is also not decided to play this pair in India Open. India Open has been upgraded to Super 750 tournament from this year. Arjun said, “I had this injury during practice during the French Open, so I had to withdraw from the Hilo Open. I thought I was fine, but when I started training a few weeks ago, I felt discomfort again, so now I am in Mumbai to recover from it. It is not a serious injury.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.
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