Want to improve my senior ranking, qualify for Olympics: Tasnim Mir

Tasnim has been simply sensational last year as she secured titles in three junior international tournaments to jump three places to grab the top position in the junior world rankings.

New Delhi: Newly-crowned junior world No. 1, Tasnim Mir knows she has to take defeats in her strides on the senior circuit, which is full of challenges, as she is determined to realise her long term goal of representing India at the Olympics.

On Wednesday, the 16-year-old from Gujarat had become the first Indian to grab the top rank in the under-19 girls singles.

“It is a big confidence boost for me. Just like I became world number one in U-19, I want to continue that performance in seniors too,” Tasnim, currently ranked 602 in seniors, said in a virtual press-conference organised by Sport Authority of India (SAI) on Sunday.

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“My long term goal is to improve my ranking in seniors as well, so that I can participate in Olympics and represent India. So my main aim is to play as many senior tournaments as possible and perform well in them so that my ranking can improve.”

Tasnim’s ascent to the top in the junior circuit has fuelled hopes that India may have finally found a successor to the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu.

“There is a lot of competition at India level. In the India open, we have seen Malvika (Bansod) and Ashmita (Chaliha), Aakarshi (Kashyap), they are giving good performance.

“I do feel the pressure and responsibility that the entire nation has high hopes from me. Of course I would try to improve myself and live up to the expectations.”

Korea’s An Seyoung has emerged as one of the most sensational talents in the senior circuit in the last couple of years.

Asked if she too would like to have a similar start like the 19-year-old Korean, Tasnim said: “An Seyoung performance is unbelievable and it is going to be tough to emulate that and I want to perform like her, but it will take time…”

Tasnim has been simply sensational last year as she secured titles in three junior international tournaments to jump three places to grab the top position in the junior world rankings.

However, she says she will have to learn to deal with failures as she graduates to the senior circuit.

“When I would lose matches, I used to think that I won’t be able to do it. If I would have given up then, I wouldn’t have reached this stage,” she said.

“I don’t like losing. In last 2-3 years I have been winning and I am performing well but as I step into seniors circuit, I am facing losses. So I feel it is very difficult. So I used to think about giving up earlier but then I feel from these failures I will improve more.”

Talking about her training stints, Tasnim said : “I left training under my father six years back. For two years, I was at Gopichand academy and then moved to Assam, where I have been training under Edwin Iriawan for last four years.

“My coach has trained Saina and Sindhu, he is very experienced. So his training regime has helped me a lot. I have evolved as a player, I have improved my strength.

“There are lot of men players there, so I could train against them. It has been a good training stint in Assam.”

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