Badminton

Badminton: Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri hope to start new chapter after winning Nationals

Under pressure to turn their fortune around after a dismal year, the world number 33 pair saved six match points in two games to lift their third title.

The moment Satwiksairaj Rankireddy put the service return in the net to hand B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri the senior national men’s doubles crown in Nagpur on Wednesday, the two broke into a wild celebration, even making their opponents and the umpires wait for the mandatory handshake after the match.

Attri ran out of the court to give a high-five to a fellow junior doubles player, while Reddy raced to hug another player and then broke into an impromptu jig in front of the stage where the dignitaries were sitting.

The euphoria and the wild celebrations looked a bit out of sync for a combination that has already won the title twice before, the first coming in their very first championship as a pair back in 2012.

But then, the world number 33 pair has been under tremendous pressure to turn things around and had to save six match points before a diving return from Reddy gave them a lucky break and a match point, as the shuttle hit the tape and fell on the other side.

“Everyone had started asking us when will you win,” said Reddy after the match. “It’s good to ask that question but I think we are a bit slow. We have had some results in smaller tournaments but the pressure was building because we were not doing well in Superseries.”

The pair hasn’t won a single round in the 11 Superseries events since the Rio Olympics and didn’t cross the first hurdle in 13 of the 18 events they have played in this year. Their only title came in the Lagos International Challenge in July and they could cross the second round on only two other occasions.

While adjusting to a new system took time for all players, Attri’s problems with the Badminton Association of India and knee injury also affected their overall performance. Though none of them are willing to talk about the matter and the BAI never made any official statement, there have always been discussions of disciplinary action against the Uttar Pradesh shuttler. He did not play a single match in the last edition of the Premier Badminton League. He then struggled with an injury as fluid had formed in his knee.

“Manu is very talented. He has very sensitive mindset. If something is troubling him he cannot play. So he was trying to forget what has happened and move on but it took a lot of time,” was all Reddy was willing to offer as an explanation.

The pair also took time to adjust to the new coaching system under Malaysian Tan Kim Her, who joined the Indian camp in December 2015.

“With a new coach coming, we began working on our toss and lift game, which doesn’t come naturally to us,” said Attri. “So when we came to the Nationals, I had only one mindset that we will play our natural game. We play flat and fast and we had beaten top players by playing our game,” he added, before pointing out that Rankireddy has a big smash and their game plan in the final had negated his weapon.

“We needed one victory and now I am confident things will change.”

Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Tan Kim Her joined the Indian camp after the Rio Olympics. The error has been rectified.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

In the spirit of sharing the responsibility, ride sharing app Ola responded with the following tweet.

To demonstrate its commitment to fight the problem of vehicular pollution and congestion, Ola is launching #ShareWednesdays : For every ​new user who switches to #OlaShare in Delhi, their ride will be free. The offer by Ola that encourages people to share resources serves as an example of mobility solutions that can reduce the damage done by vehicular pollution. This is the fourth leg of Ola’s year-long campaign, #FarakPadtaHai, to raise awareness for congestion and pollution issues and encourage the uptake of shared mobility.

In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

Ola is committed to reducing the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment by enabling and encouraging shared rides and greener mobility. They have also created flat fare zones across Delhi-NCR on Ola Share to make more environment friendly shared rides also more pocket-friendly. To ensure a larger impact, the company also took up initiatives with City Traffic Police departments, colleges, corporate parks and metro rail stations.

Join the fight against air-pollution by using the hashtag #FarakPadtaHai and download Ola to share your next ride.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.