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‘Tendulkar told me I will become World No.1’

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New Delhi: Set to be bestowed with the Arjuna award, ace India shuttler Kidambi Srikanth on Thursday said that the prestigious honour in addition to some encouraging words by legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has made him hungrier to scale new heights.

Srikanth, who created a number of records this season and also broke into the top-5, revealed that he was recently told by Tendulkar that he would become numero uno soon.

Srikanth had a meeting with Tendulkar ahead of the World Championship when he had visited one of his uncle’s place in Hyderabad on August 4.

“It was a big moment for me to meet him. He is a legend and as a kid I too followed him. He had come to one of my uncle’s place, who is his friend. I met him there.

“I didn’t get much time to talk to him but those 5-7 minutes that I spent with him, he told me that I will definitely become the World No. 1 someday, and it was a big thing coming from Tendulkar,” Srikanth told PTI.

The 22-year-old won his maiden India Super Series, Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold titles, reached the final of Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January ans also became World No. 3 in June, besides winning the China Open over the past one year.

Asked about him being for the Arjuna Award, Srikanth said: “I have been performing really well this year, so I knew I had a chance that I can get it, so I was expecting it. It is a big honour for me. It is a pretty big thing.

“Be it in any year, it motivates you. Of course, being an Olympic year, it does give an extra motivation to work harder. It is an added bonus. It makes you hungrier to prove yourself further in the tournaments and go for medals,” he said.

PTI