Whereas the nation is rejoicing its badminton crew’s historic Thomas Cup triumph in Bangkok, J Jerlin Anika is one other Indian shuttler who has been making waves along with her unprecedented gold-medal successful feat in Deaflympics in Brazil.
The 18-year-old hearing-impaired shuttler from Madurai additionally achieved one thing distinctive — three gold medals on the twenty fourth Summer season Deaflympics at Caxias do Sul in Brazil, just some days earlier than the Indian males’s crew dethroned Indonesia to turn into the Thomas Cup champions.
Anika secured a gold every in ladies’s singles, combined doubles and combined crew occasion.
Three gold medals is a big achievement in any sport or event however not for Jerlin as she rued lacking out of a fourth gold on supply.
“She will not be pleased as she missed out on the ladies’s doubles gold. She hates dropping and once we have been leaving Brazil, she requested me why individuals are congratulating me, I couldn’t return with all of the 4 golds,” J Jeya Ratchagen, Anika’s father, instructed PTI throughout an interplay.
Anika beat Australia’s Ok Neudolt for the singles gold medal, whereas within the combined doubles occasion, she and Abhinav Sharma clinched the yellow steel by getting the higher of Malaysia’s Edmund Seng Keong Teo and Wei Ying Boon.
She additionally performed an important function in India beating Japan 3-1 to win the combined crew gold medal.
The street to success wasn’t a straightforward one for Anika and it was her dotting father who ensured that she has a standard childhood after he realised that she will’t hear or communicate.
Badminton opened up doorways as she began exhibiting curiosity within the sport after Jaya Ratchagen used to take her with him to an area membership the place he used to play alongside together with his pals.
“She began coaching below coach P Saravanan at Bose academy in Madurai as an 8-year-old. He used to coach with the conventional youngsters however after seeing her, he began studying methods to speak along with her,” Jaya Ratchagan, who’s into small scale enterprise, mentioned.
Anika’s mom is only a home spouse.
Whereas Olympics and Paralympics are fairly fashionable, Jaya Ratchagen wasn’t conscious of Deaflympics and it was throughout an area event in 2017 that an official from Madurai district administration instructed him about it and that’s how her journey in direction of glory began.
Quickly, Anika, as a 13-year-old, secured fifth place because the youngest participant in her maiden look at 2017 Deaflympics in Turkey and went on to win two silver and a bronze at Asia Pacific Badminton Championship in 2018 in Malaysia.
A 12 months later, she returned with a gold, two silver and a bronze from the World Deaf Badminton Championship in China.
Nevertheless, for Jaya Ratchagan, who comes from a humble background, it was a wrestle to offer her with correct vitamin and sports activities equipment as a consequence of lack of fund.
In 2019, Jerlin’s prowess in badminton was recognised by HCL Basis’s ‘Sports activities for Change’ initiative and he or she was enrolled as a sports activities scholar below the Energy of One (PO1) My Scholar Undertaking.
She obtained a scholarship, which helped her to deal with her kits, dietary and different logistic necessities.
“She obtained a scholarship of Rs 3.25 lakh and we additionally supported the journey of her coach and father to accompany her for the Deaflympics. We’re simply pleased to play a small function in her success,” mentioned HCL Basis Director Nidhi Pundhir.
The Basis additionally stepped in when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020 to make sure that her coaching doesn’t get affected.
Quickly, digital classes have been performed, particular permission for her on-court coaching was sought and all these helped her as she emerged as one of many embellished athletes on the Deaflympics final week.
Anika, who has no different pursuits other than the racquet sport, has now set her eyes on the world championships in 2023 in Brazil.
Nevertheless, her subsequent large hurdle is the category 12 board examination.
“She hates research however she must sit for her class 12 board exams in 15 days time, so she is bit nervous,” Jaya Ratchagen indicators off.