New Delhi, With para badminton all set for a debut at the Paralympics this year, India’s Manasi Joshi was training hard to give her best in Tokyo. The Covid-19 pandemic outbreak though postponed the Games to next year.
Originally scheduled to take place from August 25 to September 6, 2020, the Games will now be held from August 25 to September 5, 2021. “This year has not been an easy one for any of us,” Manasi said.
“I was eagerly looking forward to the Paralympic Games but with it being postponed, I’ve chosen to see this as an opportunity to practice and train harder,” she added.
The para-badminton champion also revealed that she recently got a new blade prosthetic leg in Mumbai and will be adapting to it in time for the Paralympics next year.
“It is a little tough to adapt to this change as you need to learn the technicalities of it. But I believe in turning every adversity into an opportunity, and I will continue to strive harder and get my A-game on for the next year,” she said.
Manasi, who lost her left leg in an accident in 2011, grabbed headlines by winning the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland last year. But her pet event — SL3 singles is not included in the Paralympics. The only way she can qualify now is through the tough women’s doubles and mixed doubles categories.
She recently became the first Indian para athlete to get a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll modelled to her likeness. Talking about her association with Barbie, Manasi said: “It’s truly an honour to be recognized as a Barbie role model and have an OOAK doll modeled after me. It’s a wonderful transition from having Barbie, as a part of my childhood, to having a doll that looks just like me.”
“Since its inception, the women who have become a part of this initiative have challenged gender stereotypes inspiring girls to be whatever they want to be! It makes me proud to be in this league and inspire girls to tap into their limitless potential,” she added.