After his Last 8 finish at the Thailand Open Super 500 tournament, India shuttler George wants to be in the Top 30 of the BWF rankings by the end of this year
India shuttler Kiran George. PIC/Badminton Association of India
INDIA shuttler Kiran George aims to work harder to achieve his short-term goal of improving his BWF (Badminton World Federation) ranking after his 16-21, 17-21 defeat to Toma Junior Popov of France in the quarter-finals of Thailand Open Super 500 tournament last week.
George, 23, who made it to the main round through the qualifiers, had some fine wins in Bangkok. George had defeated third seed and World No. 9 Shi Yu Qi of China in the first round and then got the better of another Chinese, World No. 26 Weng Hong Yang in the pre-quarters. It was for the first time that George, the 2022 Odisha Open winner, had reached the quarter-final at a BWF World Tour Super 500 event. Talking about his experience at the Thailand Open, the World No. 59 told www.mid-day.com: "Overall, it was a good experience. My toughest match was against Shi Yu Qi. Personally, I’m not satisfied with the result. I am aware that I have to work even harder to reach the top and win titles. This is not enough."
His next target is to climb up the rankings. "I was ranked No. 43 in January. Now, I want to be in the Top 30 of the BWF rankings by the end of this year. My long-term goal is to win the All England Championships some day," remarked George, whose favourite player is Chinese great Lin Dan.
Meanwhile, the Kochi-born shuttler said he fell in love with the sport as a four-year-old after watching his dad George Thomas play. Thomas was a member of the Indian team that won a silver medal in the 1998 Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur.
Ask the youngster, who trains at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy about his interests beyond the badminton court and he replies, "I like watching UFC fights, Formula One and I love cars in general."