National champion shuttler Arvind aims to crack top-15 in world

February 19th, 2009 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) Newly crowned national badminton champion Arvind Bhat said that the title will boost his confidence as he is aiming to crack the top-15 in the world this year.
Bhat, who beat P. Kashyap in the finals at Indore Wednesday, said the title triumph was a major relief to him.

“I was playing in my fifth national finals, the first was way back in 2002, but I never won any. So this time I was determined to win the title. It is a big relief,” Bhat told IANS.

World No. 28 Bhat lost to Abhinn Shyam Gupta in his first final appearance in 2002 and then went down to Anup Sridhar and twice to Chetan Anand.

“It was a major hurdle for me. Winning the nationals is very important. And I was falling in the finals regularly. I was thinking what to do to win the title.”

“I had some good results in international circuit before the nationals and that boosted my confidence. I did not take any pressure this time and went all out,” the 29-year-old Banglorean said before leaving Thursday for the European tour.

“I will be playing in the German Open and All England Championships. After wining the nationals, I can freely focus on my international tournaments.”

“I am in good shape and aiming to be among the top-15 by the end of this year,” said Bhat.

He also said that Indian badminton is looking up and more youngsters are shining at the international level.

“There are five players in top-50 in men’s rankings at present which is a very good sign. I am sure that there will be four to five Indian players in top-15 very soon,” he said.

Anand is the highest ranked Indian at 13 followed by Bhat (28), Anup Sridhar (38), Anand Pawar (45) and Kashyap (47).

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