In the qualifying round, Karishma, the India No 1 in the U-17 category beat Santoshi Hasini 21-18, 21-15. She will play against India’s Jacqueline Rose Kunnath today.
Karishma had a comfortable lead of 16-5 in the first game, but Santoshi fought back to make 15-16. Thereon Karishma hit some cross-court smashes to win the first game 21-18.
In the second game, the 16-year-old started winning points and was 11-5 when her opponent won the next four points. Later Karishma clawed back to make it 20-14 and eventually won 21-15.
“The junior Asian Badminton Championships this year was my first international tournament. But making it to the main draw of a senior event and that too in my hometown is special.
“This being my first tournament in the senior category, I am not aware of the competition level. I would just go there and give my best. I hope to garner as much experience playing against senior players from India and abroad,” Karishma told MiD DAY.
The FYJC student of Mithibai College battled a hamstring tear last year but it was her coach Mangirish Palekar of Shuttlecraze Academy who helped her get back into the game.
“I had a third grade hamstring tear two years ago. I couldn’t have made a comeback without the guidance of Mangirish sir. He is been really supportive and ensured that I do not hurt myself further while playing.
He devised a special training programme for me which helped a lot,” said the Santacruz resident. Meanwhile, the other city shuttlers to make it to the main draw were Harsheel Dani and Nigel D’Sa.