Though he is now World No. 1 in junior badminton rankings, 17-year-old Aditya Joshi knows it will be not be easy in the coming days. This year will be his last in junior circuit. He is hopeful of cashing in on the latest status and excel in the tournaments that he gets to play, the next immediate being the India Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow from January 21 to 26.
“It feels great to be world No. 1 in my age group. It also gives me a lot of motivation. Being World No. 1 means a lot to me, that I am the best among all other shuttlers in the world. At the same time, it puts me under pressure to perform,” Aditya told dna from Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, where he trains with his father, Atul Kumar Joshi, a badminton coach at the Sports Authority of India.
The B. Com first year student is not one to sit on his laurels. “No break for the time being,” he said.
“I’m at home training with my father and preparing for the tournaments ahead. My plan is to keep performing well this year and continue the same when I get into the seniors in 2015,” Joshi said.
Doing well in the Asia Youth U-19 Championships in Taipei next month and in the World Junior Championships in Malaysia in April are among his main targets for the year.
Joshi has also trained at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore since April 2010. PPBA’s chief coach Vimal Kumar said: “Aditya is one of the most promising players. He has the potential to be in the top 20 in the world in the next two years. That should be his priority. He has been making good progress. But he needs to work on a fe w things. He gets nervous after taking a big lead and fumbles in the closing stages. Also, if he can become stronger for his 6-foot height, he will be a name to reckon with in the future.”
Atul Kumar seconded Vimal about his son’s temperament. “He tends to relax after taking the lead and thinks that the match is already won. We need to correct this,” he said adding that he is pleased with the opportunities his son is getting to play in India and at the international levels.
Aditya, who began playing badminton at the age of five in Dehradun, has been honing his skills in Dhar for last nine years. He said he benefitted from the PPBA, where he was taken on scholarship. “PPBA has helped me improve my speed. I have no plans to go back to PPBA, though, and will train with my father,” said Aditya before cutting short the telephonic conversation and heading for practice session.
U-16 Boys Singles Nationals title, Hyderabad, 2010
U-15 Boys Singles Bronze in Badminton Asia Confederation Youth Championships, 2010
U-17 Boys Singles Bronze in Badminton Asia Confederation Youth Championships, 2011
U-17 Boys Singles Silver in Junior National Championships, Jaipur, 2011
Boys Doubles title in Ramenskoe Junior Tournament 2011, Russia
U-17 Boys Singles National title, Imphal, 2012
U-19 Boys Singles Silver in Junior National Championships, Imphal, 2012
Gold in men’s singles and men’s doubles in Sushant Chipalkatti Memorial India Junior International Badminton Championships 2013, Pune
U-19 Boys Singles National title, Chandigarh, 2013.