K Srikanth cant wait to get back on court. Laid low for nearly three months by an ankle injury sustained at the Japan Superseries, his eagerness and anticipation to return to action at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) in January is palpable. I only started my rehab a week ago followed by training, he says. Its going a little slow now. Maybe after the league Ill be back to full training.The defeat against defending champion Lin Dan in the quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics still rankles. Especially, since he missed out on creating a little bit of history. Before the match I knew it would be a life-changing experience, says Srikanth, who is coached by P Gopichand. Had I won, I would have become the first Indian male badminton player to make the Olympic semi-finals. And the kind of form that I was in in Rio, I had a very good chance against any player.After losing the opening game, Srikanth regrouped to draw level in the second and left Lin visibly rattled. But a couple of errors in the decider proved too costly for the Indian. You cant plan too much when youre playing someone like Lin Dan, Srikanth told ESPN in Bengaluru on Friday. All you can do is keep the shuttle inside and play as big you can and not make simple errors. I had my chances but couldnt take them. I guess thats what experience teaches you.Rated highly for his attacking prowess, Srikanth, 22, has a fair amount of versatility in his shots, often mixing drops and jump-smashes to leave opponents flummoxed. He had unleashed much of his arsenal of shots against Lin, earning grudging respect from Chinese quarters.Srikanth says the doubles sessions of his early years come in handy at the net even today. Until my juniors I played all three events [singles, doubles, mixed doubles], but once you enter the seniors you need to change your game, strokes and strategies, he says. Theres the danger of becoming predictable. My early years doubles training is something that keeps me different from other players, so I wanted to retain it even after I was solely focusing on singles. It adds an element of intrigue.The most expensive Indian player at the PBL auctions for the upcoming edition -- Awadhe Warriors successfully bid Rs 51 lakh for him -- Srikanth says it is the quality of the contests rather than big money that draws him to the league. When I played my first IBL in 2013, I was a junior and just the opportunity of playing alongside top-ranked players like [Lee] Chong Wei helped me fathom international standards, he says. At the PBL at the start of this year, I won against Chong Wei and that was a massive boost for my confidence ahead of the Olympics.Srikanth doesnt want to look too far ahead. It is only the PBL (January 1-14) and the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold (January 24-29) thats on his platter at the moment. Im being a little picky with tournaments for now, he says. 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Defenceman Yannick Weber scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Canucks breathed a sigh of relief with a 2-1 win on Saturday night. The boxing Balderas brothers -- Carlos, the 2016 U.S. Olympic lightweight, and Jose, also a standout amateur -- are going pro as the first fighters to sign with promoter Richard Schaefers newly formed Ringstar Promotions.Schaefer, the co-founder and former longtime CEO of Golden Boy Promotions before an acrimonious split with Oscar De La Hoya led to his leaving the company in 2014, founded Ringstar this past summer. He is co-promoting a Showtime-televised card on Dec. 10 that is filled with Al Haymon-managed fighters, but he does not have agreements with any of them. With the Balderas brothers signing with him, Schaefer has two sought-after prospects, Carlos in particular, to build his company around.Carlos, who will fight professionally as a junior lightweight (130 pounds), and Jose, who will campaign as a bantamweight (118 pounds), signed promotional agreements last week, and the deals were announced on Monday.Carlos Balderas was one of the most sought-after Olympians coming out of the 2016 Summer Games, and I am so pleased that he, and his brother Jose agreed to join Ringstar Sports, Schaefer said. Carlos, Jose and their entire family are the type of people that we want to do business with at our company. I am going to do whatever it takes to make Carlos the face of boxing, and his brother will be right there with him.Both of these young men are exceptional fighters with great skills and even better work ethics. Most importantly, they have a desire to be great, and so does Ringstar. I am looking forward to getting started.Schaefer said that Carlos, 20, and the 21-year-old Jose, both of Santa Maria, California, will make their professional debut in late February in Los Angeles.These are two clean-cut young men who can fight and talk intelligently. We have two young men who have an opportunity to carry the fight scene here in Los Angeles, Schaefer said. For me, this is my No. 1 priority, to help them become superstars of the sport.The sons of Mexican immigrants, Carlos and Jose were introduced to boxing by their father (and trainer) Zenon and uncles Emiliano and David (their manager) and said the sport helped give them structure and keep them away from gangs and drugs when they were growing up.Im very, very excited for the future for me and my brother, Carlos said. Im thankful to Mr. Schaefer and excited to get the ball rolling and do big things. I was looking to turn pro even before the Olympics. The Olympics was a good experience, but I am more excited for the pros. Its something Ive been looking forward to for a while now.Said Jose: [Schaefer] is a very smart man and he has a vision for both of us for what we want to be, which is world champions and superstars.Carlos, who was 175-9 as an amateur and won various titles, advanced to the quarterfinals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August before losing to Cubas Lazaro Alvarez.ddddddddddddJose went 80-8 as an amateur.Carlos reminds me of a combination of Oscar and Fernando Vargas, and thats not a bad thing, Schaefer said. When you think about boxing in Los Angeles, and you go back to the days of the Olympic [Auditorium], there was [always] somebody who carries the Los Angeles and California boxing scene and was like the king of L.A. I believe that is missing today, but I believe the brothers will someday fill up the StubHub Center [in Carson] and the Staples Center.These kids have the skills inside the ring and they carry themselves the right way outside of the ring. The family still has a place in Mexico City and they are bilingual, so my plan is to also have them fight sometimes in Mexico. I am already in discussions with [Mexican television network] Televisa about them.Carlos was the target of several promoters, including Top Rank, Golden Boy and Japans Teiken Promotions, but Schaefer won the recruiting battle. I was myself. I think what I accomplished speaks for itself, he said. Carlos sparred with a lot of fighters, like Leo Santa Cruz and other guys [I worked with at Golden Boy], and when you ask the fighters what they think about me you get positive feedback. Im very much pro-fighter. Im there win or lose. Thats one of my strengths, my relationships. He saw that and liked that as well as my track record.Carlos said he and his brother decided to sign with Schaefer because they liked his honesty.He is a very trustworthy guy, a family man, Carlos said. He wanted to be with us from the beginning and he has the power and connections in Los Angeles, where my market is.Im looking forward to working with Richard for a long time. My brother and I chose Ringstar because we immediately felt comfortable with Richard. Im ready to start my career and grow my fan base. Im looking to do big things in this sport. Its not just about a paycheck. I want to win world titles and build a legacy.The brothers also became close with Raul Jaimes, one of Schaefers assistants, who Carlos said looked after him in Rio.My dad spoke a lot with these other promoters, Top Rank, Oscar, Mr. [Akihiko] Honda [of Teiken], Carlos said. I feel like they wanted to sign us just to sign us and not give us what we deserved. I didnt even want to have a meeting with them. They are very nice people but not the best decision for us to be with them.Said Zenon: Richard is a very smart man who is going to do amazing things for my sons. I know that my sons will be world champions. The question is, how many times? I believe that Richard has the mind to get us where we need to go. ' ' '