Manasi Joshi, the 2019 para-badminton world champion in SL3 division is now eyeing for gold at Tokyo Paralympics.
Joshi suffered a road accident eight years ago, at the age of 23, which crushed her left leg and broke both her arms. As a result of the accident, she had her left leg amputated and rehabilitated for months to walk again.
She picked up her badminton racket after putting on an artificial leg. She said winning a local tournament five months after picking up her rackets gave her a new direction. Aljazeera quoted Joshi as saying, “It was a turning point after my injury and the win certainly boosted my confidence.”
She joined the Pulela Gopichand Badminton Academy afterwards and became a member of the country’s para-badminton team.
At the 2019 Para-badminton world championships held in Basel, Switzerland, she won India’s second gold after P.V. Sindhu won gold in the women’s singles event.
The Time magazine (Asia edition) featured her as the cover of the magazine as a selection for their “next-generation” leaders. The US doll-makers Mattel, Inc., who manufactures Barbie, celebrated International Day of Girl Child (October 11) by unveiling a doll after her.
“The whole narrative is changing.”
Joshi hopes that this would inspire differently-abled athletes to be inspired and that they believe “everything is possible.”
Joshi is now looking forward to competing at the Paralympics in Tokyo next August in the mixed doubles and women’s doubles event. Paralympics has no single’s event.