Dr. Kiran Challagundla, the shadow of Kidambi Srikanth and the Indian Badminton team

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Gobadminton desk Image Courtesy: BWF Facebook 26 Aug, 2017

If we talk about any movie, it would be about the title, plot, leading characters and the director. Sometimes, it would be about music and music directors as well. Who talks about the stylists and technicians of the movie? The same is happening in badminton. Only the player and the coach are into the limelight, each time when tournament happens. No one reckons about the physios or the supporting staff.


Meet Dr. Kiran Challagundla, the physio behind the fitness of every global player from Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy. It is him who kept K. Srikanth fit and perfect on the court to win three consecutive Super Series titles at Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.


Srikanth was out of the story when he had an ankle injury, post Rio 2016 Olympics. Dr. Kiran, worked tirelessly to bring Srikanth back with more energetic and fitness regimen.


“It’s tough to formulate plans for everyone. But that’s the job I have to do. And when your work brings results, it’s a delight. All I can say is we focus on making a player play to his full potential and making them peak during a desired tournament. For that to happen we need enough time on our hands, which is about 3-4 months,” Kiran told Express.


Kiran has been working at Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy for the past eight years with every top player. Previously, he worked with the now defunct IPL team Deccan Chargers.


On asking about the expected Indian glory at World Championship 2017 at Glasgow, Kiran said, “This is what we have been working towards for the past few months. The World Championship cut-off was April 30, and we knew who the players were going to be. So we should get good results. Also, some players made the cut much later in July, as some players pulled out of the championship, so we haven’t got the required amount of hours with them. But all the players should do good there”


Kiran was carried away by the thought that people think fitness is something we get through genes; either Indian player be fitter or weaker.


On this note, Kiran concluded saying, “Fitness and getting injured is not related to genes. It’s just about how you manage the workload on your body. Nowadays, fitness for all the countries is almost at par. Having said that, the number of tournaments they play these days, it’s not possible to remain injury-free.”

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