Para-badminton player Manasi Joshi has won gold in her women’s singles category at the BWF Para-badminton World Championships in Switzerland’s Basel. Her victory may have been far less visible than P.V. Sindhu’s in the World Championships of the same sport on the same day, but it nonetheless completes what has been a historic week for India in racket sports.
A 30-year-old electronics engineer originally from Rajkot, Joshi defeated Parul Parmar in the SL3 category of the women’s singles category, reported Indian Express. Yet another strain of similarity runs through Sindhu’s and Joshi’s victories in this regard too. Like Nozomi Okuhara is to Sindhu, top seed Parmar is a habitual adversary on the court for Joshi. She had faced the three-time world champion Parmer three times earlier this year, and lost every time, reported News18.
But Joshi is no stranger to beating odds. The Express report of her victory notes how the badminton enthusiast suffered an accident on her way to work in 2011. Fifty days of hospitalisation later, Joshi emerged without her left leg, but with every intention of continuing her training in the sport. Along with her family, who actively associate themselves with her sports career, Joshi remains focused on the Tokyo Paralympics of 2020.
Joshi trains at Pullella Gopichand’s academy in Hyderabad, which has among its stars Sindhu and World Championship bronze winner Sai Praneeth.
Amidst enthusiasts’ tweets on how her victory was largely ignored, Joshi herself tweeted messages of congratulations to P.V. Sindhu. With great humility she also wrote of her own significant update with a the addendum, “I worked every bit for it.”
Also, PV Sindhu, you are GOAT! Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/njB3XhNcVP
— Manasi Nayana Joshi (@joshimanasi11) August 25, 2019
I earned it.
Worked every bit for it. pic.twitter.com/sGZRL9GWMu
— Manasi Nayana Joshi (@joshimanasi11) August 27, 2019
Joshi was felicitated, along with her para-badminton teammates, by Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju, who tweeted of his ministry’s decision to award “handsome cash” rewards to the players at the time of their return to the country.
Sports fans and para-sportspersons like world number two para-shuttler Sukant Kadam have been tweeting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who met Sindhu in the aftermath of her historic win, to extend the same courtesy to Joshi and team as well.
Modi has tweeted his regards to the whole para-badminton team on Wednesday, five days after the victory.
130 crore Indians are extremely proud of the Indian Para Badminton contingent, which has brought home 12 medals at BWF World Championships 2019.
Congratulations to the entire team, whose success is extremely gladdening and motivating. Each of these players is remarkable!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 28, 2019