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Meet Manasi Joshi- A para-athlete who won Gold in Badminton World Championships

Manasi Joshi might have lost her left leg in a road accident in December 2011 in Mumbai but that didn’t stop her from relishing the taste of success. Her clear-cut vision steered her to come through with flying colours as she clinched a gold medal at BWF Para-Badminton World Championships. Earlier, in 2018, she settled for Bronze medal in women’s singles in Thailand Para championship.

The para-badminton player Manasi Joshi also brought home her first gold at the Para World Badminton Championship.

Credits: Facebook

The 30-year old got the better of three-time SL3* world champion Parul Parmar with a dominant score of 21-12, 21-7. She opened her account slowly with 2-7 and then she switched gear to outsmart the opponent. Speaking to the Paralympic Committee of India, Manasi said,

“I have trained extremely hard, training three sessions a day. The focus was on my fitness, so I also lost some weight and gained more muscle. I spent more time in the gym, working six sessions a week.”

Having played para-badminton for four years, Manasi also said that winning the gold is a dream come true moment.

In 2011, Manasi Joshi lost her left leg in an unfortunate accident when she was hit by a truck at a busy junction. She then broke her arms and sustained multiple other injuries in her body.

Also, it took over three hours for Manasi to be shifted to a hospital, and she eventually made it into the operation theatre 10 hours after she encountered an accident. She was in the operating room for twelve hours, and she ended up with an amputated left leg due to gangrene.

In an earlier interview with YourStory, Manasi said, “At the time I was thinking that I have just lost a leg, not an organ. If I can’t run around, it’s okay.”

Manasi Joshi didn’t worry too much about her life. In 2012, she re-learned how to actually walk with a prosthetic limb for around 4 months, and then she took part in an inter-company badminton championship where she had earlier won the gold. This time too, she emerged the winner. Besides playing badminton, she also got trained in scuba diving.

Manasi turned pro in 2014 when she made an attempt for the Para Asian Games. Although she didn’t get selected, she grabbed attention since then as she has won medals at various international matches.

It should be noted that *SL3 is a para-badminton category wherein players are impaired in one or both lower limbs and have poor walking or sprinting balance.

She even confessed that she was never a professional in Badminton but she was able to build a great sense of character and that’s how she went about her business and grew from strength to strength.

“I was never a serious or a professional badminton player, but always played the sport since my school days as my parents believe that sport builds an individual’s character better. Sports taught me so many things in life,” she said.

“It is very nice on part of Gopi and other players like Sindhu to keep my morale high. I am so pleased with the way they keep track of my training and progress,” said Manasi.

Ever since Manasi stepped foot in international events from 2015, she was able to get the best out of herself and she won a silver in mixed doubles in the 2015 Worlds, bronze in 2016 women’s singles, 2017 World championship bronze and a gold in a Spanish international event.

“Well, the biggest challenge for me is 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,” said Manasi.

“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,” said a beaming shuttler. “I hope to come back from Jakarta next month with a gold,” said a confident Manasi.

Written by Sagar Abhinandan

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