The talented badminton champion, Asmita Chaudhari tells us how she juggles school with competing on a global stage in the senior arena of the game
Year 11 pupil Asmita Chaudhari is the badminton U19 English mixed doubles champion and a bronze medallist in the women’s doubles at the English National Championships. Competing well above her age group, Asmita relishes the challenge.
Exam pressure – she’ll be taking her GCSEs in the summer – doesn’t faze her either. With the support of her teachers at Edgbaston High School for Girls, studying and badminton manage to rub along together very successfully.
There’s another kind of pressure too. Asmita’s parents relocated the family to Birmingham from Newcastle in 2014 purely so that she could progress in the game. Being in the Midlands makes training and competing much easier because as well as being put through her paces locally, Asmita trains three times a week in Milton Keynes which would be a mammoth trek from the North East. It’s an extraordinary display of commitment and there can be no doubt she has the unquestionable support of her parents.
IN THE FAMILY
Asmita’s brother played badminton from the age of six and five years later was competing nationally, so she had that experience to draw on. Asmita says: “I used to travel with him and watch, then I started playing aged eight.” Asmita’s mother says she could see that there was something special about her daughter from a very early age in terms of being able to think under pressure and the fact that she instinctively knew what to do which set her apart from many other excellent players.
She played her first tournament aged nine and won a few matches, then triumphed in a county match and started playing with Badminton England U11. At this stage Asmita says she was still playing for fun really, but once she got to U13 level and started to win easily it got a became more serious. She progressed to a higher age group, won the county championships in Northumberland and now plays regularly at U19 and is part of the junior England programme, competing and winning in categories well above her age group.
Doubles is Asmita’s speciality playing with Annie Lado in the women’s game and William Jones in the mixed event. Asmita explains that domestically you choose your own partner and internationally you’re paired up. She’s settled with her partners and is riding high often beating much older and experienced players triumphing over some of the world’s top pairings on the senior stage.
Asmita’s hero is Thailand’s Intanon Ratchanok who is known for her relaxed hitting motion and balletic movement. She was the first Thai woman to become number one in the world. Asmita would like to emulate her hero’s success which she’s well on the way to doing – all while studying for those all-important exams. Good luck Asmita!
Here are just some of Asmita’s achievements so far:
2017 U19 Wimbledon Badminton Tournament – women’s doubles semi-finalist, mixed doubles winner.
2017 U17 European Championships in Prague – team event bronze medal with England, individual quarter finalist, women’s doubles 2nd round.
2016 U15 Eight Nations competition in Switzerland – U15 women’s doubles winner, mixed doubles semi-finalist
2016 Danish Junior Cup – U17 girls’ singles quarter-finalist, women’s doubles semi-finalist (bronze)
2016 Badminton England, Milton Keynes – U17 women’s doubles winner, singles and mixed doubles silver