I can become India’s No.1 men’s singles player in the coming years, says Maisnam Meiraba

Maisnam Meiraba has reached a career-best world ranking of 175 within six months of senior international debut. (Picture: BAI)
Maisnam Meiraba has reached a career-best world ranking of 175 within six months of senior international debut. (Picture: BAI)
Suhas Nayse

Maisnam Luwang Meiraba has emerged as one of India's fastest rising men’s singles shuttlers this season. Meiraba made giant strides with his consistency in his debut year on the BWF senior circuit.

In a short span of time, Manipur’s Maisnam Meiraba attained a world ranking of 175 in men’s singles. 19-year-old Meiraba made a smooth transition from juniors to seniors, which augurs well for the future of Indian badminton.

Most Indian shuttlers struggle when they graduate to the seniors from junior level. However, Meiraba proved to be an exception.

The reigning national junior champion launched his senior international campaign in style by winning the Latvia International Futures Series in August 2021. The talented teenager created record by emerging as champion on debut on August 29.

His record stood out prominently because he triumphed after going through the qualification rounds. Meiraba repeated the extraordinary feat at the Bulgarian International Future Series in October 2021 in just his third tournament.

After a dream start, he hasn't looked back. He has made rapid strides and in eight tournaments, he has reached a career-best world ranking of 175 within a span of six months.

Out of eight tournaments, Meiraba has won two, reached semifinals twice and made it to the quarterfinals once. It shows his remarkable consistency and hunger for a win.

At the Odisha Open in Cuttack last month, Meiraba entered the pre-quarterfinals where his impressive run was cut short by fellow Indian Tharun Mannepalli, who won 21-18, 21-17 in 44 minutes.

Meiraba, who has been training at Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru since his sub-junior days, will compete in Iran next week.

He will like to maintain his brilliant run by excelling at the 30th Iran Fajr International Challenge 2022 slated to be held at Shiraz from February 7 to 11.

Meiraba was given the 12th seed in the five-day tournament. He believes he can become India's No.1 men's singles player in the coming years.

Meiraba spoke exclusively with Sportskeeda. Here are excerpts from the interview:

Q: You got a dream start by winning two tournaments out of three in your debut senior international season. How do you see the beginning for you?

A: The recent tournaments have been exciting for me and to be lucky enough to win two out of the three tournaments that I have participated in has been quite an experience for me. I hope that I can do just as well in the future.

Q: After achieving a world ranking of 175 in a short span, how do you plan to build on it?

A: I am really grateful that I am able to achieve a world ranking of 175 in a short amount of time. To grow more in the world ranking I am looking forward to participating in the tournaments that are going to come in the following months and hope that it doesn’t get canceled.

Q: Do you think your game is much suited to play International Challenge or higher tournaments rather than playing only Future Series?

A: Yes, I think that I can play at the higher tournaments but that doesn’t mean that I have nothing to improve. I have a lot of things to improve which will help me get better at playing.

Q: You are more or less categorized as a defensive player. You rely more on your defense rather than attack. What are your thoughts on it?

A: I like playing both and I just do what I need to do to win at the moment.

Q: What are your strong points and in which areas do you want to improve to compete at the higher level?

A: I normally don’t think about my strong points or weak points. For me, whatever that I am lacking I am always trying to improve.

Q: Whom do you like to give credit for your success so far?

A: First, I would like to give credit to my father and my mother and to my academy especially to Prakash Padukone Sir and Vimal Kumar Sir and to all the coaches and physiotherapists and staff of the academy and the OGQ which has helped me immensely not just financially but also in many ways that I didn’t imagine it would.

Q: Do you think you have the ability and skill to become India’s No. 1 men’s singles player in the coming years?

A: Yes, I have already achieved India's No. 1 ranking from mini, sub-junior and junior categories so yes, I believe I can do it in the senior category also.

Q: What is your ultimate goal in badminton?

A: To become the Olympic champion and world champion.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava


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