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Para-badminton player Manasi is defying the odds

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Manasi Joshi

Bengaluru, August 10: The story of India's para-badminton player Manasi Joshi, who won the bronze medal in women's singles SL3 category at the 2018 Thailand Para-Badminton International recently, is that of the three 'd's -- discipline, determination and dedication.

The 29-year-old started competing in international events from 2015, and the highlights of her fledgling career include the mixed doubles silver in the 2015 World Championships, bronze in 2017 World championships and a gold medal in a Spanish international event.

And after her recent performance in Thailand, Manasi's confidence is on an all-time high.

The Gujarat-based software engineer, is also in line to make her Para Asian Games debut in Jakarta in October and Manasi was quite candid while admitting the challenges she faces in her life as a para-badminton player.

"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," Manasi was quoted as saying recently in an interview with The Hindu daily.

Tragedy struck her life seven years ago, when Manasi lost a leg in a road accident in Mumbai, but instead of being bogged down, she took it up a challenge and kept chasing her dreams.

Manasi got herself a prosthetic leg from a rehabilitation clinic in Mumbai and began competing in various tournaments, representing the country since 2015 and the results are there to see.

"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," added Manasi, who had a liking for badminton since her childhood.

And now after her good effort in Thailand, Manasi wants to conquer new frontiers with Asiad being teh first. It helps her that national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand chips in with his advice at the academy in Hyderabad where she is fine-tuning her preparations for Asiad.

"I am enjoying my training in what is obviously the best centre. It's very nice on part of Pullela Gopichand sir and other star players like PV Sindhu to keep my morale high. I am so pleased with the way they keep track of my training and progress," added Manasi, who has now taken a four-month break from her job in pursuit of bringing her country laurels at the Para Asiad.

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    Story first published: Friday, August 10, 2018, 11:51 [IST]
    Other articles published on Aug 10, 2018
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