Manasi Joshi is changing the landscape of para sports in India
The badass para badminton player has had an amazing year
Badminton player Manasi Joshi had just returned to India at the time of this interview. The athlete from Ahmedabad was representing the country at the recently-concluded Para Asian Games in Jakarta, where she landed a bronze medal. While she believes this is one of her biggest achievements yet, Manasi is not one to rest on her laurels. Feet firmly on the ground, she’s already training hard to conquer new territory. In addition to winning medals at the World Championships next year, as well as the 2020 Paralympics, Manasi hopes she can help bring para-sports into the Indian mainstream.
The young sportsperson, who lost her left leg in a road accident almost seven years ago, says badminton helped her heal. “I started playing para sports in 2015, after my injury, and things have been wonderful since then. The transition from being an able-bodied player to being a para sports person is educational,” she says. Her journey has taught her perseverance; Joshi explains further, “If you are determined to chase something, neither a lack of infrastructure, nor a lack of acceptance can get in the way.” Nor, it seems, the full time tech job that the world ranking player juggles with her training. Coping with adversity, striking a pose, breaking world records—Manasi Joshi, with seemingly boundless energy, really can do it all.
Photograph: Prarthna Singh
Styling: Rahul Vijay
Hair: Tenzin Kyizom
Make-up: Sergio Alvarez/Faze Management
Assisted by: Akshita Singh (Styling)
On Manasi: Cotton dress, price on request, Adidas, Rubber sneakers, Joshi’s own