World No.3 Sukant Kadam begins his quest in the BWF Para World Badminton Championship with reasons aplenty to perform.
Seeded No.2 in the Men's Singles SL-4 event, which begins tomorrow in Tokyo, Japan, the Pune based shuttler looks ahead to improve upon his bronze medal performance that he achieved in the last edition held in Basel, Switzerland in 2019.
"Personally, winning gold is the ultimate aim, but in realistic understanding making the final will be a step forward," says Sukant, who will be playing his third World Championship. Earlier, Sukant played in 2017 Ulsan, Korea edition (quarterfinalist) and 2019.
At Tokyo, Sukant begins his round robin (group stage) in Group-B alongside Hassan Mubiru (Uganda) and Vievan Thuong Nguyen (Vietnam) with an eye to top and move into the elimination round (main draw).
"I am in good shape and trained really hard," on his readiness for the challenge ahead. On his preparation, he says: "Focused training on being consistent and improving on set skills have been the order. I am geared up to tackle all situations."
For Sukant, Tokyo, Japan has had bittersweet memories and enough to push himself to do well. Having played in two tournaments in the past, the 2018 Japan Para Badminton International fetched him a silver medal, while in the 2019 Paralympic Test event he was a quarter finalist.
However, in a case of being so-near-yet-so-far, 2020 was the year when he missed out on playing at the biggest stage - the Olympics. Ranked No. 5 in the world and third behind Tarun Tarun and Suhas L Yethiraj he was short on qualification. "Yes it's like you win some and lose some and I think that moment helped me prepare better for the 2024 Paris Paralympics and the World Championship is where I am looking to start a journey towards making the Olympics a dream".
With positive tapings already in place, which includes going into Championship with an individual high seeding (No. 2 as against No.3 on both occasions earlier, the only challenge lies in World No. 1, top-seed reigning champion Lucas Mazur (France) in the Land of the Rising Sun.