Who Is Anmol Kharb? From Haryana With Dreams Of Conquering The World, 17-Year-Old Leads India to First Asian Team Championships Title Anmol Kharb. (Image: X)

India’s women’s badminton team scripted history on Saturday when they won their maiden Badminton Asia Championships title in Malaysia’s Selangor. One of the highlights of the win was how 17-year-old Anmol Kharb showed the matury and the skills at this level to help India write history. The country has probably got a future star, displayed composure and strokeplay beyond her years during her wins.

The Indian women’s badminton team clinched their first-ever medal at the esteemed Badminton Asia Championships by defeating Thailand 3-2 in a thrilling final match. Anmol emerged as a pivotal player in securing this historic victory. In a tense showdown against the formidable Chinese team, Anmol faced off against the world number 149 ranked player, Wu Luo Yu, in a decisive match. Despite being ranked at 472, Anmol displayed remarkable composure and determination to secure a hard-fought 22-20, 14-21, 21-18 triumph over her Chinese opponent, rallying back after a tied second game to claim victory and contribute significantly to the team’s success.

Kharb belongs to Faridabad. Her father, with help of his neighbours, build a cement badminton court at their residential complex in Sector 16 of the city. He barely knew that he was actually kickstarting a badminton career for his daughter. Today, that little kid is an Asian champion, just at the age of 17.

Not to forget, this victory was third consecutive over a player who better ranked than her. Anmol beat China’s World No 149, Wu Luo Yu in the group stage and then won the semifinals clash against Japan as she beat Natsuki Nidaira. In the final, Anmol thrashed  demolished World Number 45 Pornpi.

India coach Gopi Chand could not stop praising the prodigy. He was quoted as saying in Sportstar: ““To take the pressure on and show that kind of nerve, it is very refreshing. She is fearless. The kind of strokes that she plays, come naturally to her. She is reading the game well, you can see her intelligence. She played beautifully.”

Father Devender saw that his little girl was more than just interested in badminton and he did not waste time to give her the platform to build career. He soon realised, though, that Anmol’s interest in the sport wasn’t a passing one. “There’s a saying in Hindi – Pooth ke paon palne me dikhaye. (A person’s future can be determined by their present actions) I looked around for coaching classes to put her in. There might have been a hundred kids along with her, but her first coach told her after a few sessions that she would go further than all of them,” Devender told Sportstar.

Anmol did not have a great start to her badminton career as she lost in the quarterfinals of Under 13 nationals. In U15 nationals too next year, she faced losses.

But Anmol was a special player. What made her stand apart was her ability to stay motivated despite various setbacks  so early in her career. In 2021, Anmol’s hard work paid off when she won the Under 15 championship. Despite being good in academics, Anmol decided to take comparitively easier subjects in 11th and 12th class.

As Anmol grew, her game also grew and her body too became stronger. Her diet included mik, bajra roti. She also loves east halwa. Her mother got her admitted to a physical training class which started at 5 am. It helped her become more powerful.

“She’s always been a very happy go lucky girl. She’s always pulling pranks. Like when she comes back from her training, she will come from the back gate and then hug me from behind just to scare me. Even when she wins a match or a tournament, she’ll expect a reward like a meal from a restaurant. But in particular she will demand chocolate ice cream. Because that is something she’s not allowed to eat generally,” says Devender as he feels the recent success won’t change his daughter much.

Read More