From keen 5-year-old to World No 1 at 17...
For the 17-year-old, the ranking is an honour that will push him to try harder in the senior circuit. He was named the top junior in the world in the recently released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
“For me, the world ranking is a great achievement. At the same time there will be a lot of expectations from me to perform. I take that as a positive to work hard and do well in the junior and senior circuits,” said Aditya, who idolises two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan from China.
He credited his father Atul (a Sports Authority of India badminton coach) who was his first coach, and also the Prakash Padukone Academy where he trains for two months every year.
“My father is a good coach and I train with him most of the time. But I make it a point to train in Bangalore under Prakash Padukone sir and Vimal Kumar sir for two months.
They give me tips on how to perform under pressure. My family, including my elder brother (Pratul, also a badminton player) keep me grounded,” Aditya told MiD DAY yesterday.
Aditya was ranked No 11 in the world till November 2013, but he jumped ahead of all the players by achieving 18,776 points. Talking about his achievements, his elated father said, “Aditya started playing at the age of five and by the time he was eight, he started winning in older age groups.
His hard work has finally paid off. I am really happy for him as a dad more than as a coach. But I hope he works hard and fulfils the dream of representing the country at the Olympics someday,” said Atul.
Former national coach Vimal Kumar hopes that his ward works hard to make a mark on the senior circuit. “Aditya has shown steady progress and I am really pleased by his achievements.
His victory in the national junior championship at Chandigarh in December 2012 proved that he has potential. Aditya and Mumbai’s Harshil Dani are the rising stars in badminton.
Aditya’s aim now should be breaking into the Top-20 in the next two years in the senior world rankings,” said Vimal Kumar.