Thursday, Sep 20, 2018 | Last Update : 10:07 AM IST

NVBA gave me second life: Prajakta

THE ASIAN AGE. | IRFAN HAJI
Published : Mar 4, 2018, 12:15 am IST
Updated : Mar 4, 2018, 12:17 am IST

The shuttler, who lost precious years at international team events due to a feud with BAI, will play in Uber Cup.

Prajakta and Sanyogita Ghorpade
 Prajakta and Sanyogita Ghorpade

Mumbai shuttler Prajakta Sawant is looking forward to joining the national team again after being overlooked for years due to a legal battle with Badminton Association of the India and national coach Pullela Gopichand.

The promising doubles specialist shuttler from Mulund became national champion in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles category as a teenager. But she lost precious years at international team events due to a feud with BAI since 2012. But now she wants to represent India at international events and do well.

Things seemed to have changed for her, as she participated in the BWF – Doubles Women, Asia Championships Teams in Malaysia recently that is staged as the Asian zone qualifier for the Thomas and Uber Cup team championships. Indian teams have qualified for the Thomas and Uber Cup slated to be held in Bangkok from May 20 to 27.

“It was a nice experience to play in the Uber Cup tournament qualifier. I partnered Ashwini Ponnappa in one game and my doubles partner Sanyogita Ghorpade (of Pune). I received appreciation from (national doubles specialist coach) Tan Kim Her which was a major boost for me,” she said.

The 25-year-old is focused on badminton only ever since she joined NVBA in 2014 and stopped pursuing the legal battle against BAI.

“I am focusing on badminton only since 2014 and have no problem with anyone,” added the doubles shuttler who continued to play in national championships in India and entered national team reckoning a couple of times.

Prajakta owes the resurgence in her career to New Vision Badminton Academy (NVBA) coaches who give her career a new after she found hard to find partners in India. She trained at the Academy in Kuala Lumpur since 2014.

“Since I joined the academy everything changed for me. It gave me second life. My coaches Yogendran Krishnan, Manoj Kumar and Yeoh Kay Lun at NVBA gave me lot of confidence. They gave me free training and also the academy sponsored my tournaments. I am a more skilled and mature player now. My strokes have improved and my anticipation is far better now. I have become a more thinking player,” she pointed out.

With a berth in the Uber Cup in mind, in which she could have played in 2014 as well if she was on good terms with BAI then, Prajakta will play in Vietnam  from March 20. She will continue her successful mixed doubles partnership with Krishnan at the event. The duo have done well in international tournaments and played in World Championship in Glasgow also.

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