Gujarat's top shuttler Tasnim Mir, who won the Chattisgarh International Challenge in Raipur on Sunday, is now eager to soak in the joys of playing with the home crowd rooting for her at the 36th National Games. A former World No. 1 among junior women, she has risen to No. 113 in the BWF World rankings.
"I have not yet competed in a major National-level tournament in my home State," she said.
"Surely, it will always be a big motivation when you play in front of a home crowd. The National Games will be a great platform for me to experience that. The Gujarat Government has come forward to help young sportspersons gain such priceless experience."
Tasnim Mir, the 17-year-old from Mehsana, climbed the pinnacle of the BWF World Junior rankings, a feat that eluded the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, but the teenager is keeping her feet firmly on the ground. She draws inspiration from the Olympic medallists but wants to chart her own journey.
"I idolise them. They are role models for all young players," Tasnim Mir said of Saina and Sindhu, who kept the Indian Tricolour flying on the highest stage.
"They are incredible performers on the global stage and have given Indian women's badminton a huge boost. All of us dream of emulating them."
Tasnim Mir revealed her acute awareness that doing well in the senior ranks will present different challenges. "It was a very good feeling when I became No.1 in the World under-19 rankings. It was a big achievement. Repeating that in the senior ranks will be a different ball game. I have to improve," she said, revealing that she has decided to shun all social media.
"I have to work on my fitness. I'm working on my rallies and stamina as I'm aware that Asian players are very good in rallies, power and speed. The game is becoming faster and we have to play some quick rallies," she said, sharing her understanding of what she needs to do to rise from World No. 113 to the top 50 soon.
"My focus is to improve my ranking. My target is to be in the top 50 so that I can compete in bigger international tournaments. I have to be consistent with my game to achieve that goal and then to rise to be among the top 20," she said. "My father (Irfan Mir) has played a crucial role in my evolution. I learnt the basics from him and continue to train under him."
The Gujarat shuttler said that the International Challenge tournaments help players like her to get a good exposure. "With some good players from Japan, Thailand, China competing in these tournaments, it gives us the necessary experience and the chance to rise in the ranking charts," she said.
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