Other Sports

Manasi in search of an Asiad medal

Manasi Joshi.  

At 29, Manasi Joshi is a shuttler who belongs to a different breed! The Gujarat-based software engineer, is preparing for her first Para Asian Games in Jakarta in October, with chief National badminton coach P. Gopi Chand chipping in with useful tips at his Academy here.

“I am enjoying my training in what is obviously the best centre,” said a beaming Manasi, who is an amputee, having lost her left leg in a road accident in December 2011 in Mumbai and has taken a four-month break from her job in search of an Asiad medal.

“I was never a serious or a professional badminton player, but always played the sport since my school days as my parents believe that sport builds an individual’s character better. Sports taught me so many things in life,” she said.

“It is very nice on part of Gopi and other players like Sindhu to keep my morale high. I am so pleased with the way they keep track of my training and progress,” said Manasi, fresh from her women’s singles bronze in Thailand Para championship recently.

Interestingly, ever since Manasi started competing in international events from 2015, she rarely returned without a medal — the high points being a silver in mixed doubles in the 2015 Worlds, bronze in 2016 women’s singles, 2017 World championship bronze and a gold in a Spanish international event.

“Well, the biggest challenge for me is the society itself. It is sad that many still treat para athletes as lesser mortals though things have, of late, changed a lot thanks to the performances by our tribe at the highest level,” said Manasi.

“I firmly believe that para athletes too are intelligent and knowledgeable and can be role-models for young talent given the way they fight adversity to win laurels at the highest level,” said the spirited shuttler. “I hope to come back from Jakarta next month with a gold,” said a confident Manasi.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 4:10:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/manasi-in-search-of-an-asiad-medal/article24634693.ece

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