India shuttler Malvika Bansod. PIC/Badminton Association of India
India shuttler Malvika Bansod wants to make the best use of the opportunity of being inside the Games Village of the ongoing Hangzhou Asian Games.
Bansod, 22, is confident of a good show in her first Asian Games team event appearance.
"I am nervous, and happy at the same time since this is my first Asian Games. I have been reading so much about different disciplines every day in the newspapers. While I have been a part of the Indian team [Sudirman Cup, Uber Cup], Asian Games [quadrennial event] is a lot different. Here, I will get to stay in the Games' village and see great athletes in person. I am looking forward to interacting with a few champions. I hope to give my best in the team event. While I will not play in the individual event, being a part of the team event is a very big thing for me," Bansod told www.mid-day.com.
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Meanwhile, she remarked how having stretched some top shuttlers, has given her much-needed confidence. In the Indonesia Masters Round of 32, she lost to World No. 7 Ratchanok Intanon 15-21, 13-21. In April, she managed a 23-25, 19-21 result against Japanese World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi. In the Round of 32 at the Korea Open in July against World No. 4 Tai Tzu Ying the scoreline read 17-21, 7-21. "Before the trials in May, I managed to stretch Yamaguchi. I had a tough match against Tai Tzu Ying recently and a couple of more against the best shuttlers in the world. The match experience I got is something that will stay with me. These matches have given me a lot of confidence," said Bansod.
Asked what are things that she would want to do inside the Games Village when she is not playing, she replied. "While I have played against some of the top players, the one person I would like to interact inside the Games village has to be former World No. 1 Nozomi Okuhara [World No. 29]. The Indian athlete I would want to chat and get valuable tips from is Olympic gold medal-winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra. He has achieved so much for the country. There is so much one can learn from him. The other Indian I would have loved to meet is MC Mary Kom," signed off Bansod, a BTech final year student of SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Chennai.