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Exclusive Interview With CWG Star Anahat Singh: India’s Youngest Athlete At Birmingham 2022

Anahat Singh
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Team India will be looking to create history at the 2022 Commonwealth Games as they aim to follow up their stunning performance in the Tokyo Olympics with another grand showing on the global stage. While the 205-member contingent is littered with worldwide superstars, Olympic champions and record holders, there are also plenty of promising youngsters you need to watch out for in Birmingham.

One such star is squash prodigy Anahat Singh, India’s youngest athlete at the Commonwealth Games. The 14-year-old star in the making booked her ticket to Birmingham with an impressive performance at the national trials, and we caught up with the squash phenom this week ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

How are your 2022 Commonwealth Games preparations coming along?

I attended the high-performance camp for the Commonwealth Games in ISA Chennai. Former world number one Gregory Gaultier and Sebastien Bonmalais had also come to train and prepare us for the upcoming games. That was really exciting. (In the) mornings we did doubles practice with Sunaina Kuruvilla who is my partner at the CWG, and evenings were more drills and matches. Before that, I played the Asian, German and Dutch junior open where I got plenty of match practice as well.

What do you hope to achieve in Birmingham, have you set any goals for yourself?

I plan to play to the best of my ability. It’s a great opportunity to watch and play with all the senior players from various countries. I haven’t played seniors before so I will just give it my all and try to learn as much as possible from the top and more experienced players.

What drives you to get up in the morning and go to training every day?

I don’t like getting up in the morning but it’s the best time for me to do fitness or solo to improve my game.

What are your strengths as both an athlete and a person?

I like to be creative and am fast on the court and squash is a very fast game so that helps me. I am very competitive and like to win every game be it practice or tournaments.

What are your interests outside of sport? How do you relax?

I love listening to music, painting and sketching. I can draw all day. Whenever possible I spend time with my cousins and friends.

How do you balance growing up and having a ‘normal childhood’ with being a professional athlete?

My friends and family always make time for me as per my schedule, so I don’t get to miss too much. I love playing so I don’t think I am compromising or giving up anything right now. My teachers at my school, the British School Chanakya Puri, are very supportive so they help me make up whatever work I miss.

Who is your sporting hero?

Ali Farag in squash, (and otherwise) Virat Kohli.

How do you cope with the mental pressure of competing in a major tournament?

I don’t get stressed and try to have fun while playing. I don’t think too much about it and play in the moment.

Do you have any advice for young athletes looking to start a career in sports?

Play whichever game you love to play if you want to excel in it as most of your time of the day apart from school times is spent on planning or practising for it so it’s important to enjoy it.


[Featured Image Credit: Team India]