Manasi Joshi, the para badminton player who prefers being on the sports page than weekend special – SportsMediaz

“As a sportsperson, I’d rather appear in the smallest article on the sports page than in an inspirational feature in a weekend special.” 

Manasi Joshi’s instinctive response hits home.  

“There were a number of para-athletes before me who have had record-breaking feats, but there was hardly anything written on them. In general, there is a sympathy angle which we go for… we call it inspiration porn. I always argue that sports news about people with disabilities should be covered. Whenever it happens, if headline-worthy, it should be there as well,” Manasi, the former singles (SL3) World No. 1, tells  Sportstar. 

As the Joshis celebrated Manasi’s rise to the top spot in the BWF (Badminton World Federation) mixed doubles (SL3-SU5) rankings, alongside Ruthick Ragupathi, with a family dinner on Thursday, the 33-year-old para-shuttler from Ahmedabad said that wider coverage in the media would ensure a rise in fan engagement.  

“I think our fanbase needs to improve because our sports are not telecast on TV. Once that happens, the writing for those fans will increase and once that increases, more fans will be created. As of now, I think it is more of a financial hiccup than anything else, but I will be really happy to see it pretty soon. Maybe the next or next-to-next Paralympics.” 

Nonetheless, the 2019 World Championship winner is thrilled with the response she has been getting on social media since her latest achievement.