Danuska Da Gama
Goan badminton player Tanisha Crasto made history last December when she participated at the Junior National Badminton tournament and won the women’s doubles title. She also represented India at the World Junior Badminton Championships in 2018.
Having just finished her Class 10 examinations, Crasto has now set her eyes on the All India Junior Ranking at Chennai and Kerala, which is a selection tournament for Asian Junior Championship.
In Goa for a few days before heading to Hyderabad to join the prestigious Gopichand Badminton Academy, Crasto, who is the brand ambassador for Parama Heartbeat was at the launch of Adidas Badminton at Peddem Sports Complex.
Talking about her move, Crasto believes that there’s a lot that she needs to work on. “I really think that I need to improve my fitness on court and develop patience and mental stability to handle crucial moments on the court as this makes a big difference between us and the top players,” she shares.
She is also looking forward to meeting new people in the badminton circuit while understanding different styles of playing the game. And while the shift from Dubai to Hyderabad won’t be an easy one, Crasto says that she’s got to learn to live independently without her family and learn to adjust if she wants to improve her game and reach her target.
“I’ve made up my mind that I want to be the World No 1 player. And I have to work hard and do all it takes,” says the young and focused shuttler.
Crasto was just 13-years-old when she played her first international tournament – the Bahrain International Tournament. “I was the youngest player at the tournament, but went on to win the women’s doubles title. I was also the youngest girl there to win a senior ranking tournament. The feeling of being on the podium with the Indian National Anthem being played is a wonderful moment. That was one of the most memorable experiences so far,” she says.
In 2017, she went on to create history by winning the Indian Club UAE Open tournament in the women’s singles event after beating Negin Amiripour of Iran. She was 14 – years -old.
And Crasto owes her passion and career in the making to her father Clifford Crasto. “Since my father was into cricket and badminton, I would be taken along and would keenly observe how the games were played. I liked badminton better and would play with senior people and his friends. Gradually I told him I was interest in taking up the sport seriously and then decided to take it up as a career,” she says. Apart from her father, and two other coaches, the shuttler has worked under coach Sam at Prime Star Sports Academy.
Crasto is quite mature for her age, and having been involved in sports since the young age of five, she has learnt to accept wins and defeats eloquently. Not letting a win get to her head, she works on her strengths, and not letting a defeat to trouble her too much, she works on her weaknesses and areas that she has to improve on.
“I have a good backup system in my parents, coaches and friends. After losing a game I sit and think what I can do better in the next game,” she says, before adding that losing a single game is not the end of one’s life and instead the focus should be on more tournaments, opportunities.
Success doesn’t come overnight, but when it does it means that all the sacrifices and hard work put in has paid off. And indeed juggling sports and education has meant a tough daily routine. “I would wake up at 5 a.m. and work out before heading to school. After that I would go to play on court come back in the evening, study and eat before heading out for the evening session that went on from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.,” says the rising star who looks up to international badminton players Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Tai Tzu-ying while also idolising PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Srikanth Kidami.
The India’s top ranked U-17 doubles player says that there is tremendous scope these days in doubles though she also wants to improve herself as a singles player. Not sure, who she will be paired with after joining the academy in Hyderabad, Crasto believes that coordination and compatibility on court are the ingredients for success when it comes to winning a doubles game.
Clueless about whether the Goa Badminton Association and Sports Authority of Goa will give her a chance to play at the forthcoming National Games, Crasto hopes that she will be given a chance to bring home a medal for her state.
Originally hailing from Chinchinim, she says that her holidays in Goa always means eating Goan food, enjoying with her family and playing with her friends, which she will now miss as she moves to Hyderabad.