Malvika Bansod: 'Need to gain strength and power to break into top 100'

After a dream debut in the senior circuit, young Indian shuttler Malvika Bansod is working on gaining strength and power as she aims to break into top 100.

Malvika Bansod has recently shifted to train under chief junior national badminton coach Sanjay Mishra.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Bolstered by a dream debut in the senior circuit, young Indian shuttler Malvika Bansod is working on gaining strength and power as she aims to break into top 100.

The 18-year-old from Nagpur made a superb start to her career in the senior circuit, claiming back-to-back titles -- in the Maldives International on debut and followed it with another title-run at the Annapurna Nepal International Series.

“Last two weeks have been fantastic as I won my first international tournament in the senior circuit at Maldives and then next I won at Nepal, so it has been an amazing run,” Malvika said.

“I am very happy with the way I have been playing because in the last two weeks I have just dropped one game against a Japanese player (Chika Shigeyama) in the quarterfinals in Nepal.”

READ: Malvika claims maiden title at Maldives International

Asked how does she assess her own game now, Malvika said: “I need to get more stronger, physically and mentally. Overall, game development is required. Now I am 18 but to compete against older players I will need more power and strength.”

Talking about her future plans, she said: “I will be playing the Bahrain International series (Oct 9-13) next week.

“I would be looking to play more international series and soon I would get points to enter international challenge. My target is to break into the top 100 as early as possible.”

She had recently shifted to train under chief junior national badminton coach Sanjay Mishra.

“I was under Mr Kiran Madore earlier but I didn’t have enough sparring partners there so I decided to train under Sanjay sir and it proved to be a good decision. I had many wins since then. I’m grateful to him,” said Malvika, the current world No. 452.

Besides being a fast-rising shuttler, Malvika has also done well academically.

“I had got 95 per cent in class 10. I choose science in HS because I like studying Maths, Physics and Chemistry. I dropped Biology as it would be too much to study along with badminton,” said the student of Standard XII at Shivaji Science College.

“But right now, badminton is the priority. I am putting in great effort and I am doing well. It was a tough choice. I took science to keep my options open.”

A left-handed shuttler herself, Malvika idolises two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion Lin Dan of China but rues that she never got to meet the Chinese great.

“I idolise Lin Dan as he is also left-hander. But I have never seen him play live. He has been to India a few times. He played at the Thomas Cup and my friends had gone to see his practice sessions. I had some domestic matches and also exam so I couldn’t go. Hopefully in future I will get to meet him,” she concluded.