Real life has imitated the reel life for this young athlete who essayed the role of ace shuttler Saina Nehwal in her biopic. Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye, who featured as young Saina in the film, has bagged the U-15 girls singles title at the Ashwani Gupta Memorial All India Sub Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament.
According to Mid-Day, the 13-year-old Chembur based badminton player, trains at the Jitesh Padukone Shuttlers’ Academy as well as the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy, and travels back and forth between Mumbai and Hyderabad to achieve her dream of being an ace badminton player.
Speaking of the teenage badminton player, coach Gopichand told the publication that Naishaa “a very gritty athlete, a lot like Saina”.
Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye, who looks up to Saina, landed her debut role when Shraddha Kapoor recommended her name to the director after seeing her at the North Indian Association.
I was just nine when I shot for the movie. I shot for around one-and-a-half months for the 20-30 minute role. It was a dream come true to play the role of my idol. I took up badminton because of her.
-Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye to Mid-Day
The news surfaced on social media as well.
Here’s how people reacted to the news:
And now we know why Naishaa was so convincing to watch on screen. She is no less than a champion in real life.