Becoming the first Indian to hold the world No. 1 ranking in junior badminton is just the beginning. Tasnim Mir: | Jobi Cool

16-year-old shuttler Tasnim Mir, who hails from Mehsana in Gujarat, has accomplished a feat that seasoned badminton players like Saina Nehwal and Olympic gold medalists like PV Sindhu have failed to do. Mir has become the first Indian to achieve the world No. 1 ranking in the under-19 girls’ singles category, according to the latest Badminton World Federation Junior Rankings.

Mir’s love for badminton dates back to when she was a little girl who would run with her father to watch him train badminton players. “My father is a badminton coach, and when I was seven years old, I used to accompany him to the stadium just to watch badminton. At first I started playing badminton for fun, but as I was good at it, I gradually started practicing with my father. I played professionally after participating and winning state tournaments. My first badminton partner and first badminton match was with my father.” shared by Mir.

Being named world number 1 in the junior category is a huge achievement. However, Mir is not overwhelmed by the conquest. “Mummy ne bola tha kal that I have become world no.1 but I am not excited about the news. My goal is to win an Olympic gold medal for India and do well at the senior level. That’s why I didn’t take this news very seriously,” says Mir.

The news of becoming the world champion was unexpected for Mir and he did not expect it. “I didn’t expect to ever be named world No. 1 because last year the jab rankings got us close to No. 2 in the world. Kyunki main under 19 aur nahi khelne wali thi, mujhe laga tha, main world #2 par atak jaongi. However, they reopened the rankings after the tournaments I played at the end of last year and added the points I earned from those tournaments, pushing me from #2 in the world to #1 in the world. Since it was the last minute, it was not expected at all.” says Mir.

While Mir may not be celebrating his achievement, his family is extremely happy. “My father is delighted because he was my first coach. Also there is no one from Mehsana in Gujarat who has achieved this honor so my parents are overwhelmed and proud of me. Main apne hard work se world #1 bani hun, yunki muje bahut mushkil lagta ya sab. It is quite difficult to compete in international tournaments, and I have worked for it,” says Mir.

Mir’s life has been largely consumed by badminton. So much so that he hasn’t been able to do all the normal things a teenager does. “Bachpan toh bilkul nahi raha aur kuch bhi aisa fun karne ko mila hi nahi. Toh normal life kafi miss ho gayi. Even if I do what I missed now, it won’t be the same, because having and experiencing pleasure as a child is very different than experiencing them as an adult. Kafi cheezien badminton ke liye choot gayi,” says Mir.

Coming from a family where a brother was also a state champion, Mir’s bond with his sibling was unique. At the age of fighting with his siblings, Mir was busy practicing badminton with his brother. “My brother is also a state badminton champion. I grew up playing badminton with my brother. We practice a lot together and I love the bond we have,” shares Mir.

Mir has been in Guwahati for the past four years, training under Indonesian coach Edwin Iriawan (Photo: Facebook)
Mir has been in Guwahati for the past four years, training under Indonesian coach Edwin Iriawan (Photo: Facebook)

Mir admits that she misses making friends, going to parties and spending gala time with her family. When asked what he would like to do most if he had time for it, Mir is quick to say: I want a stress-free vacation. I travel for my tournaments, but always with the mindset of playing the game. I would like to visit Ladakh, Kashmir or the Himalayas with my family.”

Mir’s social media is full of videos of her intense physical training. The shuttler admits that the life of the world No. 1 is not easy. “Along with my training, I also have to stay on a strict diet and I really miss eating chocolates and sweets. Every time I win a big tournament, I celebrate cheat day.” says the 16-year-old.

Mir credits his family and school for their support throughout his journey. “My mother and my school have been very supportive in my journey. I attended regular school only up to the sixth grade. Post that, I was just sitting for my exams. “My school allowed me to take part in the final year exams and practice the rest of the time,” he says.

Mir has been in Guwahati for the past four years, training under Indonesian coach Edwin Iriawan, who has coached Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. What’s next on his agenda? “In the next month I will have international matches in Iran and Uganda and I am preparing for it. “My resolution for 2022 is to improve my ranking while playing at a high level,” says Mir.

The mark of a true sportsman is the strength with which they deal with setbacks, and Mir has some advice on the subject. “Apne career ko leke kabhi give up mat karna and hamesha hard work karna. Stay focused. I used to cry a lot when I lost a game in the opening game. However, now I have learned that winning and losing are part of life and the game. So if you don’t get too emotional about winning or losing, you’ll learn in every game you play,” he says.

When Bollywood actors like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Huma Qureshi etc. congratulate Mir for becoming World No. 1, Mir finds it hard to believe that things are happening so fast for him. “I couldn’t believe they posted a story congratulating me when I first heard from people. I thought it was fake, but it was true and I felt really good about it. I am really grateful for their appreciation,” Mir shares as he signs the court for his next practice session.

Author tweets @FizzyBuddha:

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