With the COVID-19 induced lockdown imposed all over the country, teen badminton sensation Mansi Singh is utilising a majority of her time to focus on her studies. The Lucknow girl, who is studying commerce and mathematics in her 12th standard, is preparing for her crucial board examination next year.
In a freewheeling conversation with The Bridge, Mansi shares her lockdown routine with us. "I am at my home in Lucknow. I am doing my workouts regularly with the help of my coach and my physical trainer. Apart from that, I am getting time to focus on my studies as well. During my practice sessions, I do not get enough time to study." says the 17-year-old.
Mansi Singh bagging the gold medal
The shuttler had a magnificent climb up the ranking ladder with some stupendous performances on her stride. Singh, a product of the Babu Banarasi Das Badminton Academy in Lucknow under the guidance of coach Prem Lal Thakur. What started as a regular fitness activity for Singh, became a passion. "During my childhood, my parents wanted me to join any sports for physical fitness. At the age of eight, I joined the BBD Badminton Academy to keep up with my fitness. And then I picked up the interest in the sport and this was the foundation of my career in badminton," says Singh.
Singh's training at the BBD Academy started to pay dividends and she made her presence felt in the domestic circuit. In 2015, she won her first competitive tournament and the next year, she bagged the state's junior tournament along with the Under-13 All India Tournament. In 2017, she won the Under-17 All India Tournament. In 2019, she again won U-17 Tournament and the Junior nationals tournament. By winning the Yonex-Sunrise All India Sub Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament 2019 in Assam had earned a distinction of a dual record to her name.
Singh's training at the BBD Academy started to pay dividends and she made her presence felt in the domestic circuit.
She won golden double-bagging both the singles and doubles titles in the under 17 categories at the tournament. The event saw a participation of 1,415 players.
Singh credits her parents' support has been instrumental in shaping her career. "My parents' support means a lot to me. When I am at my regular badminton sessions, in the evening my father comes every day to the academy bringing food for me. Even my mother often visit the academy to see me train. In every tournament, they travel with me, which lifts my confidence," says Singh.
A fan of Lin Dan, Mansi was in Germany to play the Yonex German Junior tournament from where she had to fly down owing to the lockdown imposed in the country. In January, Mansi won a bronze medal in the girls' singles event at the Dutch Junior International 2020 in Haarlem, Netherlands, prior to which she bagged her second successive All India Junior Ranking badminton tournament.
Now she has been regularly taking part in the online training sessions conducted by her coach Mr. Prem and by the Sports Authority of India. Apart from badminton, her interests lie in art and craft and swimming. Mansi has trained herself in the swimming pool for two years and hopes she could spend some more time in swimming once the pandemic-related restrictions are lifted.
Mansi, who has made her leap to Under-19 category expects to further up her game so that she can make a heavy impact in the international circuit after reigning the domestic.