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Little 'Saina' actor wins the U-15 girls' badminton title

Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye, the child actor who played the role of Saina Nehwal in the shuttler's biopic 'Saina' has bagged the U-15 girls' trophy.

Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye, who played young Saina in the shuttler

Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye (right), who played young Saina Nehwal in the shuttler's biopic


Sohinee Basu

Updated: 26 Jan 2022 11:40 AM GMT

Receiving a lot of praises for her portrayal of Indian badminton poster girl Saina Nehwal in the shuttler's biopic, Saina, the young Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye, who is actually a rising badminton player has claimed another laurel in her cap - and this one is straight from the real courts. Naishaa, who played the role of a young Saina Nehwal starting out with badminton and had about 30 minutes of screen-time in the Amole Gupte film, has won the U-15 girls' trophy at the Ashwani Gupta Memorial All India Sub Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament.

Naishaa as young Saina in the biopic

Hailing from Chembur, the 13-year-old idolises Nehwal and wants to walk in her footsteps and in that honour, she is taking all the right steps. Training at both the Jitesh Padukone Shuttlers's Academy and the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy, Naishaa is a former Mumbai under-11 champion and Maharashtra state number one in the under-13 category. Shuttling between Mumbai and Hyderabad for training, Naishaa is slowly working towards becoming one of the next big things on the badminton circuit, in the near future.

Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye with Parineeti Chopra (Source: The Hindu)

Seeing her talent on display at the North Indian Association, actor Shraddha Kapoor, who was originally supposed to play the role of Saina Nehwal in the biopic, suggested Naishaa's name to Amole Gupte. By and by, even though Parineeti Chopra came in to play the role of Nehwal, Gupte chose Naishaa, for her stark resemblance with the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist shuttler to play a young Saina in the movie.

Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye

If Naishaa has impressed with her acting skills in the movie which got a lukewarm response at the box office, her skills with the racquet also fetched the attention of Pullela Gopichand and she was one of the seven kids who were selected for full-time training at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in 2019. Soon, Naishaa also entered the top 10 of the under-12 national rankings in both the girls' singles and doubles categories.

With this latest feather in the cap, Naishaa is only growing from strength to strength and surely, she will have more successes like her on-screen character - Saina Nehwal.

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