Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: Former international shuttler from Assam Krishna Hazarika feels 90's was the 'Golden Period' for Assam Badminton. During an interaction she also feels that present time is the 'Golden Opportunity' for Assam shuttlers and they should take advantage of it. Here is the excerpt.
Q. Why did you give first preference to badminton instead of other games?
Krishna: It's decision perhaps surprised many. My cousins Madalasa Hazarika, Gautam Hazarika, Ghritachi or Mitali or Latu were all in Table Tennis and were already a National name when I decided to take up Badminton. In fact my father too thought that I would play Table Tennis. But when I used to visit the stadium with him I was more attracted to the green courts and the shuttle. Finally I decided to become a shuttler.
Q. Share your playing experience in national circuit.
Krishna: I was comfortable with all the opponents except Manjusha Kanwar. Her game never suited mine. The match that got me into the senior league was against Seema Bhandari. She was ranked India no 1 in seniors at that point of time and I was a wild card entry. The tournament was in Bareilly. No one had beaten Seema Bhandari till then. I reached the finals beating Nancy, Lakshmi and a host of top ranked players. None expected me to win against Seema Bhandari. She was extremely fast and lots of energy. But from the word go I just had it and defeated her in straight games. The performance helped me to get selected for India for the first time and it was in the World Juniors in Jakarta, Indonesia. Only I and Gopichand were selected for the tournament. Unfortunately Gopi couldn't go due to an injury whereas I flew alone to Indonesia.
Q. Your comment on the current scenario of badminton in Assam.
Krishna: I always say the 90's was the 'Golden Period' for Assam Badminton when Assam had a host of International players, There were national champions and highly ranked national players wherever you looked at. Present times are the 'Golden Opportunity' for Assam Badminton because now the entire Indian Badminton circuit is managed by Assam. If our players are not able to perform and take advantage from the authority of the State Badminton then I will really think it's a pity, a great loss of the opportunity.
Q.You watched closely the stalwarts of Assam badminton like Dipankar, Madhurya,Susanta, Mallika…How would you rate them?
Krishna: Mallika ba was a very good doubles player whereas the 3 men were really awesome. You cannot like one more than the other. All 3 had very distinct awesome qualities as Badminton player, Dipankar, a very hard worker, hard hitter, lots of energy and punch; Sushantada, extremely deceptive. His matches are unique, and the strokes were amazing. On the other hand Madhurjyada was very natural on the court with beautiful strokes.
Q. Asmita Chaliha is now the new badminton sensation from the State. What is your expectation from her?
Krishna: I saw Ashmita play against PV Sindhu during the National championship in Guwahati; of course Ashmita has the steam in her. But I should say that we need to produce a base of good players so that a pyramid can be formed with many Assam players at the top Indian rung. It will help the state to become a dominant force in national badminton.
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