The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Sunday announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakh for Kidambi Srikanth after he beat reigning Olympic champion Cheng Long of China in the final of the Australian Super Series. With this win, Srikanth registered his second straight super series title and became the first Indian shuttler to do so. Earlier this month, Srikanth had also won the Indonesia Open Super Series. BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma announced the cash award for the 24-year-old who won his fourth super series title and also became the only sixth player in the world to feature in three consecutive super series finals.
In the Australian Super Series final, Srikanth was up against the current Olympic champion Chen Long of China and the Indian star was at his supreme best against the World No. 6, winning the match 22-20, 21-16 in a rather comfortable manner.
The two players had met five times before the Australian Open final with the Chinese shuttler triumphing all five times.
Sarma was delighted at Srikanth's feat and congratulated him after his amazing win.
"We are really very proud of Srikanth for his achievements. It is simply phenomenal. He has not only made the whole country proud once again but has etched his name among the best and no word would enough to praise Srikanth," Sarma said.
Reiterating the president's views, BAI secretary general Anup Narang added, "It is indeed a very huge achievement for Srikanth and Indian badminton. The entire BAI is in a jubilant mood and I am sure so is the badminton fans across the country."
Apart from Srikanth, the performance of other Indian players at the Australian Open Super Series were also impressive as Sai Praneeth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal all made it to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
(With PTI Inputs)