Yadav nets his seniors
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At a time when most children his age are spending their afternoons home watching cartoons on television in the ongoing summer vacations, 9-year old Vikas Yadav is busy tormenting shuttlers as much as six years his senior at the ongoing Pt Tirath Ram Banarsi Das Memorial badminton tournament. Not only does he win his matches at Thyagaraj Stadium, he does it so convincingly, emerging victorious instraight games with only one opponent taking a game to double figures.
For the record, Yadav played three matches in the space of two hours on Monday, both in the U-13 and U-15 category while winning 15-3 15-3 in the first, 15-0 15-4 in his second and 15-4 15-10 in his third match. He has now qualified for the fourth round in the U-13 category while also reaching the third round in the U-15 category.
At least initially, when Yadav took the court in third match in the U-15 category, the pairing seemed unfair, with the 9-year-old dwarfed by his opponent. Yadav though says the sight of a physically stronger opponent never bothers him. "I am never afraid playing anyone because I know I have to win. And today also, it was to make sure that I play my natural game," said Yadav.
And while it is true that many young shuttlers punch above their weight they have the benefit of having started at a far younger age than their compatriots. What impresses about Yadav, who combines fine placement with power is that he has only been playing the sport for a year. As his father played cricket Yadav too was expected to follow that sport. However despite joining a coaching center, near his house in Ghaziabad, he never found the desire to take the field. Instead, he followed on his brother's footsteps to develop himself as a shuttler. "The first day I went to the cricket field, the coach over there asked me come the next day. The next day never came. I started learning badminton from my elder brother, now 11, and eventually joined Ajay Kanwar sir's coaching center. I love playing smashes and I know I can score a lot of points," added Yadav, a student of fifth standard in Sunshine School.
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