Rudra Rane of IES New English (Bandra) clinched the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) girls' U-12 inter-school badminton title with a 21-11, 21-11 win over top seed Samruddhi Kshatriya of Rajhans Vidyalaya (Andheri) at the Cricket Club of India's badminton courts yesterday.

IES New English School's Rudra Rane during the MSSA inter-school badminton under-12 final at CCI yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan
IES New English School's Rudra Rane during the MSSA inter-school badminton under-12 final at CCI yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan 

The win was even more special for Rudra as this was the first time that the 11-year-old participated in the inter-school tournament.

"I was aware that my opponent in the final was the top seed but I wasn't under any pressure. I am excited that the very first time I represented my school, I won a title," said the Class VII student. The Mahim resident moved to the city from Ahmedabad just four months ago to pursue a career in badminton.

"This win wouldn't have been possible without my parents' support. Since I wanted to take up a career in badminton, my dad (Shyam) took a transfer to Mumbai in June.

The kind of infrastructure and coaching that is available in Mumbai is not present in Gujarat. I started playing badminton last year under my coach in Gujarat, Bimal Sharma. Here I train with Jitesh Padukone," she said.

Meanwhile, Samruddhi blamed her poor court movement for the loss. "She was stronger and taller than me, but I lost the match because of my mistakes. I didn't move properly on court."