After COVID recovery, Parupalli Kashyap hopes to prolong his career by two or three years

The ace shuttler believes that his performances in the next couple of competitions will be crucial in deciding his future

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Star Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap has hit the training court once again after recovering from COVID-19 earlier this month. It has been a difficult period for him as he had to stay away from practice for almost three weeks since contracting the virus.

Kashyap had to stay isolated with his wife and fellow shuttler Saina Nehwal. He reveals that they had mild symptoms but recovered quickly enough.

“We (Saina Nehwal and Kashyap) recovered from COVID-19 some 10 days back. We had about three days of symptoms and thereafter, we were normal. We got checked on the eighth day and I still tested positive, which was very frustrating. Saina tested negative but she had to stay away from the court as well because I was with her,” Kashyap told News18.

"We were in a much better shape than so many others. I did panic a bit because I have asthma and if something triggers my cough, things could get serious. But the doctor told me there was nothing severe for me. We had some anti-viral medicines, which made us very hungry and we probably put on a few kilos because we couldn't control our urge to eat. But thankfully, it was not hectic on our body," Kashyap added.

“We started training with everyone else just this week.”

After a strenuous and difficult 2020, which saw competitions get cancelled due to the pandemic, he hopes that the new year has something better in store.

"The best hope would be that the vaccine starts and everything gets back to normal, that's the best scenario. I hope everything works out and say in six months' time, we're up and running. That is what my hope from 2021 will be."

Parupalli Kashyap in action

Kashyap made the country sit up and take note of him with his performance at the London 2012 Olympics. He became the first Indian male shuttler to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympics. But he was defeated by top seed Lee Chong Wei in straight sets in the quarter-finals.

He has since continued to perform at a high level. However, he is aware that his physical conditioning is not what it once was.

The 34-year-old badminton player is taking one step at a time after getting back to court and he has worked out a tailor-made schedule that would help him prolong his career.

"In the last few years, I have seen a lot of changes in my body and I have been figuring out the best ways to keep myself fit and prolong my career by a couple of years. Even two to three years is a big task, it's more about the next 2-3 months and how I do in them.

"The way I have progressed in 2019, I feel I can still play and a couple of big results can get me going. It has been a tough period. First, we didn't know when we could start training and even when we did, it didn't feel like anything was progressing. It's been slow, tournaments kept getting postponed and I had a niggle before the Denmark Open and couldn't travel. Frankly, I'm just taking every day as it comes."

Kashyap is an Arjuna awardee and won gold in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He is currently ranked third in India and 24th in the world.