It’s not everyday you see a youngster boast a collection of more than 200 trophies and medals, especially at the age of 14 but that’s certainly the case for rising badminton sensation Tanisha Crasto.
The Indian High School student had to make room for her ever-growing cabinet at the weekend
after scooping three titles at the 40th India Club UAE Open tournament in Dubai.
She bagged the Mixed Doubles and Under-15 crowns before putting herself into the competition’s record books by becoming the youngest player to win the women’s singles division with a straight games win over Iran’s Negin Amiripour.
Not bad for someone who only took up the sport aged five and almost quit badminton altogether if it wasn’t for her coaches and parents (Clifford and Tulip).
“My father played badminton and after watching him, that was when I was inspired,” said Crasto, who hails from Goa, India and was a triple junior champion at last year’s GCC Bahrain Open.
“I enjoyed playing the sport but when I was around 10 years old, there were times when I wanted to give up because I was really tired and wouldn’t know how to manage my studies.
“I wanted to stop playing badminton but my coaches and parents, who have always supported me, said not to give up anything in life and just move on.”
Her success is partly down to her training, where she can spend up to seven hours every day on the India Club courts.
Now with the dust settling on her new pieces of silverware, she wants to go even further and emulate her idols former world No1 Saina Nehwal and Rio silver medalist and ex- world No2, PV Sindhu.
“I know Saina personally having met her at the BWF World Superseries in Dubai last December. We visited the Bollywood Parks in Dubai and it was great motivation for me to hear inspiring words and tips from her,” she said.
“With her silver medal at the Olympic Games, Sindhu has proven that not only boys can achieve medals for India but also girls can as well and that really inspires me.
“There’s still plenty of years for me to develop and I want to become better than them. That’s my aim because they’ve set the bar and it’s up to me and the rest of the world to exceed that.
“My aim is to become the World No1 and become an Olympic gold medalist and hopefully I can do that between the ages of 21 to 25 because right now, I’m focused on making a career in badminton.”
In order to do that, she now plans to compete internationally this year with trips to Belgium and India scheduled in her diary.
“It’s going to be a big step for me but by playing against international players, you can improve yourself against people who have different techniques of playing.”