Mumbai shuttler Naishaa happy with her runner-up finish at the Polish U-19 Open as she played with lower back problems
Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye with her silver medal she won at the U-19 Polish Open last week. (PICS/Naishaa's personal collection)
City shuttler Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye is satisfied to have settled for a silver at the Polish U-19 Open (September 6-9). In the final, top seed Naishaa, 15, lost to second seed Gianna Stiglich of Italy 13-21, 17-21. Interestingly, this was the youngsters second defeat to the same opponent in a week. She lost to Gianna 14-21, 21-17, 19-21 at the Irish U-19 Open final on September 3.
Naishaa, ranked World No. 8 in the U-19 category, said she is happy with the result in Poland considering she managed it despite having issues in her lower back.
Plus, she had a hectic travel schedule. After a bronze medal at the All England Junior Badminton Championships in the UK this July, she travelled to India for the ICSE Regional School Games. Later, she went to Denmark for the Danish Junior Cup (August 26-27), where she won a gold. In the final at Denmark, she defeated England’s second seed Leona Lee 21-18, 21-13. Then came the trips to Ireland and Poland.
Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye with Peter Gade at his academy in Denmark
She is now part of the U-17 nationals in Hyderabad. Talking about her two defeats to the same opponent in a single week, Naishaa told www.mid-day.com: “Though ranking-wise I was the top seed, Gianna is a senior player and she had not played for a couple of months. This is her last year at the U-19 level and playing against her was a great experience. But more importantly, I felt good that I could get these results despite a packed schedule and issues with my lower back and ligament. My body was slowing down and I was not able to give my best.”
Meanwhile, Chembur-based Naishaa, who aims to break into the Top 5 in the U-19 rankings by the end of this year, said the highlight of her recent trip was a brief training stint at legendary Danish great Peter Gade’s academy. “He [Gade] was hesitant to train me the last time we approached him. This time when he agreed, I cannot describe the feeling of getting individual sessions with him.
The training was for around five to six days. But despite the short duration, we had some good sessions. There are some tricks that I got to learn from him, they are just amazing,” said the Class X student of St Gregorios High School, Chembur. She plans to skip tournaments from December to February during which she will shift focus to academics.