Talent runs in Kriti’s blood

Talent runs in Kriti’s blood

PROMISING PROSPECT: Born to Vasanth Bharadwaj, a former national table tennis champion, and Anuradha Bharadwaj, a former state TT champion, Kriti Bharadwaj has been excelling in badminton. DH PHOTO/ PUSHKAR V

Kriti Bharadwaj wants to carve out a niche for herself. Born into a family of paddlers, the Bengalurean had the luxury of following in her parents’ footsteps and take up table tennis, knowing the abundance of knowledge she’ll have on the table. But she decided to pick up the racquet instead.

Her father Vasanth Bharadwaj is a former national table tennis champion and mother Anuradha Bharadwaj is a former Delhi State champion.

“I tried other games as well including table tennis, but back when I started, I was too small and the table was a little too high for me, so I moved to badminton,” recalled Kriti, who started out as a shuttler at the age of eight just for fun and has come a long way since then.

Potential

On Thursday, Kriti showed glimpses of her potential in the state-ranking badminton tournament at KBA courts here.

The 15-year-old bagged both the U-19 and the women’s titles, beating Advika Ganesh in both the finals to add another feather in her cap. “It was my first U-19 title and women’s title. I try to play freely, without any pressure,” said the shuttler, who trains under former national doubles champion U Vinod Kumar at the Yadav Pro Badminton Academy.

Playing for India

Kriti had already represented India at the junior level. In 2017, she travelled to Yangon in Myanmar to participate at the Asian Badminton Championships.

“It was my first time and I really enjoyed and it was a proud moment for me. Players from Thailand and Japan were really good,” said Kriti, a 10th Grade student in the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).

Her parents, having lived a sportsperson’s life and aware of her daughter’s interest, are doing everything they can to make her path easier.

“She actually is one of those kids who is born to play.

Being a parent who has been there and done that, we understand the challenges that a sportsperson meets,” said Anuradha.

“We understand there will be highs and lows. You’ve just to stay in the game. We know diet is important, injuries are part of it but we also know it is not the end of the world. I think that way we do understand a lot,” she added.

Kriti will continue on her quest. “I want to and probably I’ll make a firm decision about it next year”.