After 22 years, a Delhi shuttler at badminton World Championships

Source: Google images
Source: Google images
Source: Google images

New Delhi: After 22 years, a Delhi shuttler will take part in the World Badminton Championships – to be held this year in Jakarta from August 10 to 16.

Mohita Sahdev will become the first Delhi shuttler to take part in the annual event after Ajay Kanwar participated in men’s doubles with Vijaydeep Singh at the 1993 Worlds in Birmingham.

Though there have been other shuttlers who were residents of the national capital or were born here, they did not play for Delhi at the national level, representing Railways or Petroleum boards, among others.

“The first time I became a state champion at the Under-13 level, I had a dream of playing for India at the World Championships. It has taken almost 14-15 years to realise the dream and I do not have words to express my feelings,” the 27-year-old Mohita told IANS.

Mohita, who trains at the Surjit Singh Badminton Academy here, will be partnering friend Dhanya Nair in the Indonesian capital. They will take on the French pair of Delphine Lansac and Emilie Lefel in the first round of women’s doubles on Tuesday.

“I had been trying for many years to qualify for the World Championships and it has finally come true,” said Mohita, whose husband Tanvir Gill is also a national-level badminton player.

“I have been playing with Dhanya for almost two-and-half years… Our efforts have finally borne fruit… We need to play more international tournaments for exposure and to gain ranking points.”

Mohita and Dhanya are ranked No.94 in the world while their upcoming French opponents are No.39 — but that doesn’t deter the Delhi girl.

“Though they are ranked above us, doubles is a different ball game… We have a good chance of winning. We believe in ourselves and we will give it our best shot,” said Mohita.

Mohita, whose career best ranking is No.78, is also now hoping to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. “We qualified for the Worlds… who knows, may be we can qualify for the Olympics too.”

Apart from Mohita and Dhanya, two more Indian pairs — Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa and Pradnya Gadre/N. Sikki Reddy — will take part in women’s doubles at the Worlds.