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Aiming for the stars

This shuttler has the attitude and the stamina to make it



Potential champion Pusarla Venkata Sindhu

For Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, the fascination for sport is quite understandable. Since her father, P.V. Ramana, was a volleyball player himself. But why badminton? Well, after her father briefed Sindhu about the greatness of Pullela Gopi Chand when he was being presented an award by the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, this girl developed interest in the sport. This conversation inspired Sindhu to become a badminton player.

For a script which began on such modest note, it is now turning out into one of the success stories of badminton at the sub-junior national level.

Sindhu, a seventh standard student of Auxilium High School in the city, is now one of the best hopes for women’s badminton. With an ability to engage her rivals in long rallies before interspersing them with delicate drops to pick crucial points, this potential champion has set the record straight last year winning a ‘double – both singles and doubles titles – in seven major championships.

This talented shuttler first learnt the basics under Mehboob Ali at the IRISET Courts before moving to Gopi Chand’s Academy at Gachibowli.

The fact that she reports on time at the coaching camps daily, travelling a distance of 56 km from her residence, is perhaps a reflection of her willingness to complete her desire to be a good badminton player with the required hard work and commitment. She hates to be away from the sport.

For a player of her age, she shows remarkable stamina. “This is one of the most significant aspects of her game and should take her a long way,” says Gopi, who often takes personal interest to fine-tune her game. With the daughter not only showing interest but also producing the results, Arjuna Awardee Ramana doesn’t mind encouraging her to the hilt. “I am quite pleased with her progress so far and we are willing to go to any extent to help achieve her goal,” he explains. The major events where she won the titles are: 5th Servo All India ranking championship (under-10 doubles) ; Ambuja Cement All India ranking (under-10 singles); Sub-juniors in Pondicherry (under-13 singles); 51st national School Games in Mandya (under-14 team gold); Krishna Khaitan (under-13 double), IOC All India ranking (under-13 double), Sub-junior Nationals (under-13 double), All India Ranking in Pune (under-13 double).

An impressive record which made the BAI selection pick this Hyderabadi girl for the Elite Group intensive coaching camp in Shilaroo (HP) from April 16 to May 28 for boys and girls. Perhaps, an apt recognition of her consistency and which could well change her attitude to the game for the good in the coming days.

V.V.S.

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