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Telangana Today

Aparna Popat: The Iron Woman of Badminton

By: Srishty
Date: 19 Jun, 2018
Image Courtesy: Telangana Today

India has several badminton stars who have made ultimate records and represented the country at the International level. Presenting the Arjuna Award recipient and a woman with many feathers in her hat,  Aparna Popat.  The enthralling appeal of this talented badminton player is beyond words Aparna Popat, let’s learn a bit more about her achievements, records, career trajectory et al.


Early Life

Aparna Popat is a Former Indian Badminton Player. She was born on 18th January 1978, in a Gujarati family in Mumbai, Maharashtra. From a very adolescent age, she had a keen interest in badminton. In 1986, she started getting her initial badminton training from National Champion, Anil Pradhan. He has encouraged and supported her to build great skills and face any type of challenges that come along her way. Later in 1994, she moved to Bengaluru for better and higher training. She got her further training in Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, where she learned to build skills, fitness and techniques to be able to play at the International level. In the year 2002, Aparna shifted at Kengeri, Bengaluru, and get training in the Sports Authority of India, under Gangula Prasad.


Career

Aparna played her first-ever badminton tournament in 1989, at a young age of just 11 years, where she won the National title of the under 12 level, at Bengaluru.  From 1990 to 1995, she consecutively won Sub-Junior Girls titles.


In 1997, at Hyderabad, Aparna got the opportunity to play her first ever Senior National title. Till the year 2006, Aparna progressively won the National Singles title, equalling his former coach Prakash Padukone’s record. When she was 27, she played the last Senior Nationals title match, at Bengaluru, against Saina Nehwal, who was 15 that time. By this time, she made 9 records for a progressive win.


Talking about her performance at the International level, Aparna has performed well and also partake in both the Olympics and the Asian Games. But, sadly she could not open her account in any of the tournaments. On the other hand, in the year 1996, Aparna participated in the World Junior Championships and won a Silver Medal. She also participated in the Commonwealth Games. In 1998, the commonwealth Games were held in Kuala Lumpur, where she won a Silver Medal in women’s singles. In the same year, Aparna won the French Open title and she also received a Gold Medal after participating at the Asian Satellite Tournament.


Later, in 2002, Manchester, she came back with a Bronze Medal in the same category. She also played in the mixed team matches in the 2006, Melbourne and received a Bronze Medal.


She took retirement from badminton after suffering from an unknown, undiagnosed wrist injury. She has created a history of remaining victorious in the National Championships. In her long career of 17 years, she has also reached the World No 16 ranking.


Achievements and Awards

Aparna Popat, the Indian badminton player awards include the sports award, which every player dreams to receive. In 2005, Popat was bestowed with Arjuna award, one of the highly Prestigious awards for her tremendous career in Badminton by the Government of India.


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