At 58, Leroy D'Sa is still young to compete!

Jun 13, 2012, 07:49 IST | Sundari Iyer

Seven-time national doubles badminton champion, Leroy D'Sa isn't short on motivation. Even at the age of 58, D'Sa derives pleasure in giving younger generation a run for their money

When his contemporaries like Prakash Padukone and Uday Pawar are into full-time coaching, D’Sa plays on. 

Yesterday, he was at the Matunga Gymkhana courts for PJ Hindu Gymkhana B team’s doubles fixture, partnering Abhishek Parekh, in the Motiram Cup Inter-club badminton tournament.

Leroy D’Sa at Matunga Gymkhana yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble

“I just don’t play to keep myself fit, but playing a tournament gives me a different high,” the Western Railway employee, who is also a coach at the PJ Hindu Gymkhana, told MiD DAY.

D’Sa, who spends four hours a day on court, has his plans well thought out. “Next year, I will retire from my service, but will not quit playing badminton and coaching kids. In fact, I will devote more time to the sport,” D’Sa said.

Having represented India in three Asian Games and winning two bronze medals in 1982 and 1986, D’Sa feels this time India has a good chance of bagging an Olympic medal in badminton. For that, Saina Nehwal is his best bet.

Saina, the best bet
“All eyes will be on Saina to win a medal and rightly so. But she needs to get some variation in her game,” said D’Sa.

Asked about the chances of doubles and mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala-V Diju, the 58-year-old said they need to peak at the right time to be in the hunt for a medal.  

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