Reigning world para-badminton champion Manasi Joshi is using the prolonged spell of no competitive action to master a new blade.
India’s Joshi had to have her left leg amputated following a road accident in 2011, but is now gearing up for next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo where para-badminton will make its debut.
The Games was scheduled to take place this summer only to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, speaking to The Times of India, Joshi is looking to make the most of the situation by getting used to a prosthetic leg designed for Para-athletes.
The 31-year-old, who won gold at the 2019 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Para-Badminton World Championships in Basel, has been walking with the blade and hopes to be able to start running later this month.
“Running was part of my daily schedule before I met with an accident,” Joshi said.
Wanted to share my new progress and personal achievement with you guys. I’m re learning this skill of running which I had forgotten. I know nobody forgets running, but running on a blade is nothing like running on legs. You need to learn the technicalities of it- / pic.twitter.com/odRGxDLI51
— Manasi Nayana Joshi (@joshimanasi11) August 30, 2020
“Over the past few days, I have been learning to use the blade.
“I think in a fortnight or so, I should be able to run with the blade.
“Since lockdown all sporting events have been put off and I thought this was the right time to begin.
“I am thankful to Alimco (Artificial Limb Manufacturing Corporation of India) for sponsoring the prosthesis.”
Prosthetists Santosh Raut and Jemin Chauhan are understood to be helping Joshi develop walking and running techniques with the blade.
Joshi, who clinched bronze at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, believes the new skill will help her improve at badminton ahead of her return to competition.
“Running will help me keep fit and increase my stamina. Also, whatever is one’s situation, one must keep learning new things,” Joshi said.
“When the process of unlocking began, I thought this was a good chance to get into the fitness mode.
“I am using this new skill only to get better at badminton.”