Indian badminton player Anupama Upadhyaya who is part of the Badminton team contingent for the Hangzhou Asian Games, said on Saturday that she admires India’s star player Lakshya Sen as he encouraged her to play international level. Speaking exclusively to ANI, Anupama mentioned Lakshya as someone she looked up to during her training days under his father DK Sen’s guidance. Lakshya also inspired her to play internationally. “At the age of 11, I started training under sir DK Sen; he is Lakshya Sen’s father. I used to look up to Lakshya, and how he is playing at the national, and international level, winning trophies. I used to look at him and I also wanted to win titles. At the age of 11, I decided to play internationally and win lots of medals for the country,” she said.
“I admire my senior Lakshya a lot but my ideal is Tai Tzu-ying from China, I admire her a lot,” Anupama said.
Asian Games 2023 will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8 where two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu will spearhead India’s challenge in women’s singles and team events.
India’s star shuttlers like HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth in men’s singles and Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in men’s doubles are participating in the event to win medal for the country.
Anupama participating in women’s singles in the Asian Games said, “I am feeling very overwhelmed and excited for the upcoming Asian games, this would be the first time that I would be representing India at such a higher level. Definitely, Training with seniors Sindhu, Prannoy, Lakshya is a great opportunity for me. They have really good experience and I am also getting that experience of how they prepare themselves for court, training. So I am very lucky to be part of this team.”
When asked about her preparation for the Asian Games, she said, “I was basically working on my strengths, when you play at such a higher level, you need to have strength as top-class players are coming at the Asian Games. I was rigorous when I was doing my sessions. I think I am very well prepared for the Asian Games.”
Anupama had clinched the Tajikistan International Series 2023 title last month. She spoke about her winning experience.
“After a long time, I was playing in that tournament, and definitely that was a good experience because I wanted to win the title and after so long I won the title,” The Indian shuttler said.
She also talked about her experience in Indonesia Masters 2023, the BWF World Tour Super 100 tournament. She had qualified for round 32 where she lost to Japanese player Shiori Saito by 11-21, 7-21.
“I wanted to say that it was a good experience for me because there were a lot of Japanese and Indonesian players.”
Anupama also congratulated Indian player Kiran George for winning the Indonesia Masters 2023 title.
“Kiran was playing really well. I saw all his matches on YouTube and I went to see his matches as well. He performed really well so I want to congratulate him,” she added.
Anupama had failed to win Senior National Championship 2019 but in her second appearance, she claimed the title in February.
“This was the second time, I was playing senior nationals, before COVID in 2019 I played. I had lost in the 2019 national but this time I won the title. This time I was seeing matches one by one. Winning the title was not in my mind. When I started entering the arena for the final at that moment I was like I want to win the final and I want that big trophy. After Saina Nehwal, I was the youngest, so I really wanted to grab that title,” she concluded.
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