New Delhi, Jan 18: Promising India junior shuttler Varun Kapur consolidated his position the top ten in the latest BWF's world junior rankings. Starting 2021 on a high, Varun moved four places ahead in the men's rankings to achieve his career-best junior rankings as he became World No. 2. He had a great run late last year as he picked his sixth junior title when he won the XII Portuguese International 2020 in November.
In his previous interview with MyKhel, the teenage shuttler talked about his journey in the junior circuit and also spoke at length about his routine in self-isolation during the lockdown imposed due to COVID-19 pandemic in the country earlier last year. Kapur learnt some house chores and even helped his mother in the kitchen apart from studying and workouts.
The sporting world was one of the worst-hit sectors due to the pandemic as athletes were rendered helpless due to the restrictions. While a select few had the comfort of practising and working out at homes most of the players hardly got a chance to hone their skills as they couldn't step out of homes due to the strict rules and locked training areas.
Earlier BWF had frozen the world junior rankings as of March 17, 2020, owing to the pandemic. However, with the recommencement of some international junior tournaments, BWF stated that they have decided to add subsequent International junior tournament results to the world junior rankings without deducting points from previous weeks thereby creating a rolling ranking until such time as the world junior rankings can be fully unfrozen.
Varun went to Denmark for training after the international travel restrictions were eased and started and returned to winning ways in the subsequent tournaments. The Kolkata-lad terms the year 2020 as a great learning curve in his career for it helped him get mentally strong in unprecedented times and aims to make a smooth progression to the senior level in 2021.
Here are the excerpts from Varun's exclusive conversation with MyKhel:
MyKhel: What was your feeling and reaction after knowing that you have become World number 2?
Varun Kapur: It makes me very happy and tells me that my hard work is paying off. Having said that, I don't want to get complacent. I only want to get better from here on.
MK: After the high of 2019, how tough was 2020 and how are you looking to get back the momentum?
VK: 2020 was a tough year as it confined us all to our homes. But it taught me a lot of things including the fact that you never know what to expect and I plan on taking these learnings into 2021.
MK: Tell us about your training stint in Denmark after the travel restrictions were lifted in the latter half of 2020.
VK: My training in Denmark was great! It was great exposure for me as I got to practice with a different variety of players which was a good learning curve for me.
MK: In COVID-hit environment, how do you mentally cope with things given there is so much uncertainty?
VK: During these times it is really important to stay positive. I try and keep myself in the present by looking at things one day at a time. I try to focus on the things that are in my control.
MK: What are your immediate future plans?
VK: My goal now is to make a smooth transition into the senior category where I hope to play as well as I did in the juniors!
MK: When are you planning to make the transition from junior to senior?
VK: I plan to make the transition from junior to senior this year.
MK: What has been the biggest takeaway for you from 2020?
VK: An unexpected occurrence or a complete change in the situation should not create panic or disturbance. It's something to take in one's stride and face to the best of our ability. Many times a seemingly adverse situation actually can bring in a lot of positives including teaching us a lot. Some situations in our lives are blessings rest are lessons.