Increasing my pace against senior opponent worked for me, says shuttler Maisnam Meiraba after winning Nagpur event | Badminton News

NAGPUR: Manipur’s Maisnam Meiraba is billed as the next big thing for India in badminton. He is silently taking giant leaps and making his mark. On Sunday, he took another step in that direction when he outclassed India No. 1 Mithun Manjunath in the final of the International Maharashtra Badminton in Nagpur.
When asked how he prepared for the challenge against his senior Manjunath, who hits powerful smashes to attack his rivals, Meiraba said, “I wanted to up my pace. Playing against a player like Manjunath, I focus on returning with better speed and I think it came out well today.”
Once the 19-year-old left Manjunath behind at 10-9 in the first game, he did not let the advantage slip. He kept the second seed deep in the court and defended his smashes with authority.
Meirba’s BWF ranking in February this year was 175. Within seven months, he climbed 85 spots and now stands at 90 in the world. He made history by winning the Latvia International Future Series Badminton tournament on senior debut in 2021.
Looking at his progress, he looks set for a smooth transition to the senior level. “I work hard to be as good as top shuttlers,” he said.
Earlier in the semis, The India No. 2 Kiran George found the tenacity of 19-year-old Meiraba too hot to handle. The teenager from Manipur stunned Kiran 22-20, 21-14 to book a berth in the final.

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