The Badminton Association of India (BAI) today announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakh to Kidambi Srikanth for clinching the Australian Open Super Series title in Sydney today.

The Indian took less than 30 minutes to outclass Olympic champion Cheng Long of China in straight games 22-20, 21-16.

With this triumph, Srikanth becomes the sixth player ever to reach three Superseries finals in a row, joining Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan, Chen Long, Sony Dwi Kuncuro and Bao Chunlai.

Kidambi Srikanth continued his dream run at Superseries events after winning the Australia Superseries on Sunday which was his third successive final and second consecutive title in eight days. Srikanth had beaten him at the quarters of the Singapore Open in April. According to the Guntur-born shuttler, all these great results will help Indian badminton ahead of World Championship in August.

Kidambi Srikanth took the initial lead in the first set before Chen Long made a spirited comeback. His performance has been consistent", he says."The past three weeks have been good for badminton overall. The Indonesia Open champion again bagged a couple of tricky points to extend his lead to 14-8. At 16-9, Srikanth had a service error as the shuttle went to the net. "I have no thoughts about the final, no thoughts about winning or losing".

But perhaps jolted by the lead he had conceded, Long gathered himself just in time, starting with a deftly- placed smash, to make it 11-11. The Indian player worked past the pressure and produced an awesome performance.

After the break, the Chinese tried to be more aggressive but Srikanth managed to reach 15-8.

Tied at 20-20, Srikanth secured a second match point with a calm smash and converted the same soon after to take the game 22-20.


COMMENTS