Para badminton player Manasi Joshi is hopeful of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics now that it is postponed almost by a year. The sportstar stunned the world when she claimed gold for India in the World Para-Badminton Championships in Basel, Switzerland last year. The Gujarat-based software engineer Manasi hopes to pair up with Rakesh Pandey for mixed doubles category as well as for singles event for the Olympics. “I am happy that we have one more year to train and do better,” the 30-year-old said The Paralympic reported.

Key Takeaways:

  • Manasi, who lost her leg in an accident when she was 29, was among the 12 Indian para athletes who won medals at the competition at World Championship.
  • I am happy that we have one more year to train and do better: Manasi Joshi, gold medalist at World Para-Badminton Championship, Basel.
  • I cannot replicate my training and gym routine, but I am taking this time off to understand myself better: Manasi Joshi

“I hope that new tournaments will be added by Badminton World Federation as qualifying tournaments for Tokyo 2020. We have one whole year before Paralympic Games, nobody can say that the same set of players will remain at the top and in the next year many players can better their skills and may also become the best. I think this will be very crucial for everyone,” Mumbai-born player said.

Speaking about how the industry has been affected due to the COVID-19, Manasi said “My academy is closed, and I am now at my parents’ doing workouts at home. I am in touch with my trainer, dietitian and mind coach who are helping me adapt the training routine – considering the current situation – and to keep my morale high. I cannot replicate my training and gym routine, but I am taking this time off to understand myself better.”

Also Read:The Gender Pay Gap In Sport: Why We Must Talk About It

Manasi’s story

Manasi lost her leg in an accident when she was 29 years old. The accident couldn’t shake her confidence, instead, it gave her the nudge and willpower to follow her dreams. She defied all odds and with one artificial leg, she fought her fate and became a para-badminton player. A national and international level para-badminton player, Manasi completed her graduation in Electronics Engineering from KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, University of Mumbai in 2010.

In an exclusive interview with SheThePeople.TV, Manasi said “My family has never ever said ‘no’ to me.  They have always encouraged me to do whatever pleases me, in a sense they were the wind beneath my wings. Skills you learn while playing a sport remain with you for the rest of your life and that’s what happened to me. Sport taught me some of the most important skills. For example, to accept the current loss and try and win another time. Once you accept a loss, it’s extremely easy to adapt to new things even if it is a disability. I also followed a yoga and meditation regimen for myself in those days when I was recovering from the accident,” she said.

Talking about the challenges she faced, Manasi told STP, “The main challenge I faced was not so much the accessibility, but the insensitivity of people towards disability. I feel we in India have a long way to go in accepting disabled people into the mainstream.”

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Feature Image Credit: Dhoolmitti

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