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Shuttling from shooting to smash, Shalini style

G. Prasad
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Marquee player: Shalini in action during the women doubles at the senior State ranking badminton tournament in Tiruchi on Friday.— Photo: R. M. Rajarathinam
Marquee player: Shalini in action during the women doubles at the senior State ranking badminton tournament in Tiruchi on Friday.— Photo: R. M. Rajarathinam

Unlike in the past when actor Shalini had to shuttle from one shooting spot to another, her sights are now firmly on the trail of the shuttle.

“My husband (actor Ajith Kumar) used to play badminton and I just took to it as a hobby. But believe me, badminton is a very addictive game,” says Ms.Shalini, who is here to take part in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles events at the ongoing senior State ranking badminton tournament.

Did her penchant for sports surface in childhood? “Yes, but I could hardly find time for it. Devoting time for even academics was difficult because of my busy shooting schedule,” recollects Ms. Shalini, who made debut as a child artiste in a Malayalam film ‘Ende Mammatti Kutti Amma.’

She says it was her husband who motivated her to take up badminton competitively. “My husband used to say that all you need to achieve is will power and sustained hard work. It was a great experience once I started playing tournaments.”

Ms.Shalini, who has won women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles in State-level tournaments, feels the bronze-medal winning performance of ace shuttler Saina Nehwal in the London Olympics would inspire many youngsters of the country to take up badminton. “Winning India’s first Olympics medal in badminton is indeed a very big achievement.”

Ms.Shalini, who is trained by Maran, has been practising hard with friends for the past two months at the indoor court in her house.

“The State championship begins in Nagercoil next week,” she adds.

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