anmol kharb badminton

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On February 18, Sunday, Indian women shuttlers scripted history by clinching their maiden gold at the Badminton Asia Team Championships. The team led by two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu defeated Thailand 3-2 to lift the prestigious championship title. While Sindhu and the doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand won one clash each, it was the young 17-year-old shuttler Anmol Kharb who sealed the deal for India. Kharb shone for Indians and emerged as their guiding light as she won the decider to give India the top-podium finish. 

However, the final clash wasn’t the first time Kharb won a decider match; the youngest member of the Indian women’s team, Anmol played a significant role in other matches and helped her side make it to the final seamlessly. In past matches of the tournament, Anmol defeated several higher-ranked players and became her side’s one of the most reliable shuttlers in no time. Anmol, hailing from Faridabad, became the senior national champion in December 2023. 

The Badminton Asia Team Championship was the first major international assignment for Kharb. Anmol considers the Indian women’s badminton pioneer, London Olympics bronze medallist, Saina Nehwal as her idol, and she wants to follow in her footsteps. Call it destiny or what, Nehwal broke onto the international stage after she won her U-17 title in 2003, and so did Kharb. 

Kharb, whose father Devender Singh is an advocate, started playing badminton seeing her elder brother. She started her journey by playing at the Dayanand Public School in Faridabad and soon moved to Sunrise Shuttlers Academy in Noida for training. 

After India made it to the final of the recently concluded tournament, chief national coach Pullela Gopichand heaped praise on the teenager and tagged her ‘intelligent and fearless.’. Gopichand told PTI, “I think the result of the two matches is a testimony that she can beat top players. To take the pressure on and show that kind of nerve, is very refreshing. She is fearless. The kind of strokes that she plays, all come naturally to her. She fought really well and she is naturally brave and intelligent.”