Para shuttler Manisha Ramdass, 17, from Tamil Nadu considers winning the BWF Female Para-Badminton Player of the Year last week (December 5) in Bangkok, as the greatest achievement in her life so far.
She said the honour is special as she won it ahead of seniors like Nithya Sre Sumathy, Manasi Joshi, Sarina Satomi, Giuliana Poveda Flores and Pilar Jauregui. The world champion in the SU5 section, Ramadass won 11 gold and five bronze medals overall in 2022. “It was an honour to be chosen ahead of many senior players. I felt very proud and happy to receive the award in front of many legendary players. This [BWF honour] is my greatest achievement so far and it will motivate me to achieve more in the future. I want to win a medal at the Asian Para Games and 2024 Paris Paralympics,” said Ramdass, a Class XII student of Shree Niketan Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu.
Ramdass is a forceps baby and has a disability on her right arm shoulder. She underwent three surgeries till by the age of 12 and has shown 50 per cent improvement.
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It was Saina Nehwal who inspired her to take up badminton. “When I was 10, I participated in many sports and won more than 10 medals. My school staff encouraged my parents to put me into sports professionally and assured them that I will do wonders and rightly so. Inspired by Saina [Nehwal] I started playing badminton in 2015 and here I am today,” she explained.
Nehwal and Chinese great Lin Dan are her idols. “My all time favourite players are Saina [Nehwal] and Lin [Dan]. Saina because she is a fighter and would never give up till the last point. Also, since she is the reason I am here playing the sport. There are two reasons why I like Lin [Dan]. Firstly, he is a lefty like me. Secondly, I admired his domination when he was at the peak of his career and his playing style is very unique,” she explained.