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Budding star Mansi seeking net gains

Displaying her obvious talent, she barely wasted time, winning the match 15-5, 15-2 to get one step closer to the main draw.

Published: 17th December 2021 04:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2021 07:51 PM   |  A+A-

A doubles match underway at the Fireball Academy on Thursday. (Photo | Shiba Prasad Sahu, EPS)

A doubles match underway at the Fireball Academy on Thursday. (Photo | Shiba Prasad Sahu, EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Back in a competitive frame of mind after a long gap, some of the budding talents from the country were present at the Fireball Badminton Academy in Chennai on the opening day of the BAI series senior tournament on Thursday. With over 350 entries in the women’s singles category, the venue is full of activity with players, most of whom have arrived along with their parents and coaches, for the season opener.

One among the crowd of potentials is Lucknow girl Mansi Singh. Given that she was mostly plying her trade at the junior circuit, she has to start from the bottom (lack of ranking points). After seeking blessings from her parents, who were at the stands, Mansi entered the court to face Vaishnavi Khadkekar, her opponent on the day, with plenty of purpose. Displaying her obvious talent, she barely wasted time, winning the match 15-5, 15-2 to get one step closer to the main draw.

“The first outing was smooth but I know I’ll face tougher challenges ahead. But I  don’t feel any pressure, I’m quite confident. Even though I’m playing after a long gap, I’m confident that I can bring my A-game,” Mansi, who gets a Khelo India scholarship, said after the second-round qualification tie.

Mansi is right in her assessment. Given that she is in a transition phase (junior to senior), she’ll need to put her best foot forward. She had captured the attention before the Covid-19 outbreak last year, winning a bronze medal in a junior international meet in Haarlem, Netherlands. “There’s a lot of competition in the singles section. The transition phase from juniors to seniors will be a difficult one. I have been doing well at the U-19 level, so I’m confident that I can get good results,” she said.

She was just eight when she first picked up the racquet, joining the Babu Banarasi Das U.P. Badminton Academy in her hometown. After picking up the basics of the sport and laying a good foundation, she recently moved to Hyderabad to train at the Suchitra Badminton Academy. Just 16, she is aware she still has to add a lot to her game. “I try to stay aggressive inside the court. At the international level, the players play with plenty of pace and power. Power is something that I feel I lack but I’m not to concerned about that for now. I just want to work on rallies and also put my mind into developing speed.” 

For now, she is keen on using this golden opportunity and get some good results at the senior level. In the future, she hopes to follow the paths of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. 

Full story: newindianexpress.com



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