Buoyed by the historic para-badminton World Championships gold, Manasi Joshi has now turned her eyes on making the cut for next year's Paralympics. She will focus on mixed doubles, as SL3 category is not part of the Tokyo Games.
On Sunday, Joshi clinched her first gold medal in the World Championships, in Basel in Switzerland, by defeating defending champion Parul Parmar 21-12, 21-7 in the women's singles SL3 category.
However, the Indian is aware that she does not have a singles event at next year's Tokyo Paralympics, and, hence, will concentrate on the mixed doubles category to make it to the quadrennial event.
"I don't have a singles event at the Paralympics, unfortunately. But I am training for the mixed doubles with my partner Rakesh Pandey; the current ranking is 13 and we need to be in the top six (to qualify). So we are working to make sure that our rankings gets better," said Joshi.
Joshi, who trains three sessions a day at the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad, feels shuttlers from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and Germany will pose a challenge in their pursuit for Paralympics qualification. Joshi, who lost her left leg in a road mishap in 2011, had previously won a bronze in the 2017 edition and described the current win as one of her biggest achievements.
"It is one of the biggest achievement as of now (for me). Winning a medal at the Para Badminton World Championships is quite a big deal because the event happens once in two years," she said.
"Previously the event happened in 2017 where I had come home with a bronze medal. (So by) converting the colour of the medal and making it directly gold, I have come a long way."
Overall, India bagged 12 medals at the recently-concluded championships.