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Friday, June 26, 2009

Jackie - we are proud of you!

People do talk about achieving and i think this is one of the best one can think of - representing your country at teh age of 16! Wow! Jacqueline - my appa's friend - Mr. Thomas Kunnath's daughter has achieved this and hats off to her and to her family for the support they have given. We wish her all the very best for the tournament and beyond for greater achievements

India call for Jacqueline

The 16-year-old earned her first international call for the Badminton Asia Youth U19 championships next month in Kuala Lumpur

Dev S Sukumar. Bangalore

Bangalore girl Jacqueline Kunnath, a trainee at the Tata Padukone Badminton Academy, has made it to the Indian team for the Badminton Asia Youth U19 championships. The tournament will be held in Malaysia from July 12 to 19.
Although Jacqueline – 'Jackie' to everybody – is primarily a singles player, she was selected for the doubles based on her performance at the three All India junior tournaments in Chennai, Kochi and Bangalore this month. Jackie and Prajakta Sawant made the (U-19) semifinal at Chennai and the final at Kochi and Bangalore.

"I'm not too happy, because I got selected for the doubles," said the 16-year-old. "But I plan to try and play the singles at the ABC. I can get to know how the others play. I didn't do well in the singles at Kochi and Bangalore because I'd stubbed my toe and it was hurting."

Jackie is a product of East Cultural Association's badminton programme. Her early lessons were under senior coaches ND Murali, Biju Prasad and Suresh Kumar. It was with the arrival of former doubles international Vinod Kumar at ECA in 2002 that the programme took on a different level – two of his trainees from those days, Prakash Jolly and Jackie – are junior internationals.

Jackie's primary assets are her speed and power, but there are some creases that need to be ironed out. "She needs to improve in many technical aspects," says Vimal Kumar, coach at the Padukone Academy. "She's very quick, but skill-wise, she needs to improve. She has a problem with the grip – she's unable to change grip quickly from the forehand to the backhand."

That's something Jackie is aware of. "I need to work on my patience and precision," she says. "I need to play an opponent twice to get used to her style. My game is a more attacking style. I like it when I'm up against rally players, because they push me and there's a lot more going in their game."

Her natural athleticism is derived from her parents, Thomas and Sarah. While Thomas was a university badminton player, Sarah was a sprinter at the school level. Senior athletics coach VR Beedu was impressed with Jackie's athletic ability and persuaded her to focus on athletics, but Jackie was keener on badminton. "She had the qualities to become a good athlete," Beedu said. "Jackie could've made a mark in national athletics. She has primarily done well in badminton because of her speed. Some of our sprinters would even find it difficult to beat badminton players like Jackie and (senior international) Ashwini Ponnappa in the 800m."

Publish Post

Article courtesy DNA, Bangalore and click on page 17 on the web link: