Uma Rani Palit
The perseverance of a gritty 36-year-old badminton player has finally borne rich fruits on the national circuit.
Uma Rani Palit, a Ranchi-based shuttler, has done the capital and the state proud by pocketing the 37th Senior Veteran National Badminton Championship that was held in Mumbai from February 21 to 24.
Palit, a seven-time state senior champion, is the first player from Jharkhand ever to have won at the national level. She outplayed Preeti Panchali of Maharashtra 21-15, 21-16 in the final at Bombay Gymkhana Club to romp her way into the history books and a place in the Indian squad that will compete in the World Veteran Badminton Championship. The world event is scheduled to be held in Turkey in September this year.
Jharkhand Badminton Association secretary K. Prabhakar Rao could not hide his excitement at the results and stated the win to be a proud moment for the state. “Palit has been representing Jharkhand at senior national meets for several years now. Her perseverance finally paid off at the national meet in Mumbai,” Rao said.
Palit, who is the second seeded shuttler in the state, holds a certificate from the National Institute of Sports and is currently involved in training budding badminton players in Ranchi. She is a regular in all the state tourneys and is one of the prominent members of the Jharkhand side during the nationals.
Speaking to The Telegraph from Ranchi, Palit said she was elated to have become the first shuttler from Jharkhand to have won at the national level.
“I am very happy because I became eligible for participating in the veteran national, open to players above the age of 35, this year itself,” she said.
The Karamtoli resident added that it was strong showing in the Mumbai event that had helped her break into the Indian squad. “I will give it my best in the Turkey event,” she promised.
Palit also said she was serious about training budding talents. “I am presently employed on a contractual basis by the Central University of Jharkhand, Brambe. However, I am keen on finishing a two-year course in sports with the National Institute of Sports, Bangalore,” she said.
She, however, added that arranging the tuition fee of Rs 1.5 lakh for the course would be difficult for her.