From 328 to 84, doubles star Meghana seeks to make mark

Published: 13th December 2016 01:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2016 06:35 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: It doesn’t take much to figure out that children generally follow in the footsteps of elders and are likely to pick either of their parents’ professions. A doctor’s child will harbour dreams of getting into medicine and a sportsperson’s child would want to pursue the same line.
J Meghana, India’s rising doubles player, is another such kid. Recently, she was retained by Premier Badminton League (PBL) side Hyderabad Hunters and will be seen rubbing shoulders with the best in the business.

But as always in India, sport isn’t considered a career option by many. Same with Meghana. The 20-year-old didn’t want to become a badminton player initially. It was the medicine that attracted her. But as fate would have it, she slowly developed an interest. “I always wanted to be a doctor. But after Class X, I had to choose between badminton and studies. Finally, I graduated in English Literature and decided to focus on the game,” Meghana told Express.

The Hyderabadi, throughout 2016, has shown one and all why she is the future of women’s doubles badminton in India. A drastic improvement in her rankings — from World No 328 in May to 84 in November — along with doubles partner Poorvisha Ram, has shown signs of good things to come. Also, the fact that Meghana has been part of the Hunters team for two years, is a testimony to her talent.
“I was on the team last year too. Though I didn’t get a game, it was still a great learning curve. The feeling of being in the presence of top players like Lee Chong Wei cannot be described.”
It is one moment with the World No 1 that Meghana cherishes. “During training, Lee was my mixed doubles partner. Though it may not be of any significance to others, it was one of my best moments. He didn’t speak much, but you learn a lot from watching them,” she added.
With the PBL approaching, all Meghana wants is a chance to show her skills. To help her is father-cum-coach Rajendra Kumar, who also works at the Gopichand Academy.

madhav@newindianexpress.com

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