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Who is Anmol Kharb? Five facts to know about India's latest teenage badminton sensation

Published at :February 17, 2024 at 3:21 PM
Modified at :February 27, 2024 at 7:34 PM
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(Courtesy : BAI)

Ajay Gandhar


Anmol Kharb produced stunning performances at the Badminton Asia Team Championships

Anmol Kharb is a name that has been making headlines in the badminton world recently. The 17-year-old prodigy from Haryana played a crucial role in securing India women’s team’s first medal win at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024, defeating higher-ranked opponents from China and Japan in thrilling singles matches.

Here are five facts to know about this young sensation who is poised to become the next big thing in Indian badminton

Inspired by Saina Nehwal and her brother, Kharb started playing badminton at six

She started playing badminton at the age of six, inspired by her elder brother and idol Saina Nehwal. Anmol Kharb was born in Faridabad in January 2007, nearly a year after Indian superstar Saina Nehwal had become the new U19 national champion. Sania Nehwal is her inspiration, and she hopes to play on the international circuit just like her idol. She had also taken up badminton after watching her brother Hardik play. But when he decided to concentrate on his studies, Anmol decided she would try to make it big in the sport. She shifted to the Sunrise Shuttlers Academy in Noida, with her mother Rajbala remaining a constant pillar of support.

Anmol Kharb won her first national title at 12 and made her senior debut at 14

She won her first national title at the age of 12 and made her senior debut at 14. In 2019, still just 12 years old, Kharb won her first U17 All India Ranking title in Hyderabad and reached the semi-final of the Senior All India Ranking tournament in Visakhapatnam. She also made her international debut at the Dutch Junior International, where she reached the pre-quarterfinals. The same year, she was selected for the Khelo India scheme, which provides financial assistance and training to young athletes.

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She is a versatile player who excels in both singles and doubles

She is a versatile player who excels in both singles and doubles. Kharb has shown her prowess in both singles and doubles events, winning titles and medals in both categories. In 2020, she won the U17 singles and doubles titles at the Sub-Junior Nationals, partnering with Vennala K of Telangana in the latter. She also reached the pre-quarters in the Asian Junior Championships and the quarterfinals in the Junior World Championships, both in singles. She has a powerful smash, a deceptive drop, and good court coverage, making her a formidable opponent for anyone.

Pulled off stunning upsets over higher-ranked players from China and Japan at Badminton Asia Team Championships

Kharb pulled off stunning upsets over higher-ranked players from China and Japan at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024. Kharb was the star performer for India at the Badminton Asia Team Championships, which also served as the Asian qualifying tournament for the 2024 Thomas & Uber Cup in China. She defeated world No. 149 Wu Luo Yu of China 22-20, 14-21, 21-18 to secure a 3-2 victory for India in the group stage. She then repeated her heroics in the semi-final against Japan, beating world No. 29 Natsuki Nidaira 21-14, 21-18 in the decisive fifth match to ensure a first-ever final appearance for India in the tournament history.

She is ranked 472 in the world but is expected to rise rapidly after her recent exploits

Kharb is ranked 472 in the world but is expected to rise rapidly after her recent exploits at the Badminton Asia Team Championships. She is expected to gain valuable ranking points and confidence from her victories over higher-ranked players. She is also likely to get more exposure and opportunities to play in bigger tournaments, where she can showcase her talent and potential. She has already expressed her ambition to represent India at the Olympics and win medals for the country.

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