Bhubaneswar: Odia international Badminton star Rutuparna Panda is eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after representing India in a doubles event at Badminton Asia Junior Championships 2017 held recently in Jakarta.
Rutuparna has earned four titles and stood runners-up twice in doubles and mixed doubles events in national ranking badminton tournaments. She is currently undergoing training at Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad.
Being the first Odia female to play international badminton tournament, Rutuparna is preparing herself for upcoming international tours. Talking to a News Channel, Rutuparna said, “This was the first time I represented India at an international tournament. We played a team event and lost to China while we won against Uzbekistan. But India’s performance was poor as we could manage to make it to quarter finals only. I played the second round and hope to play better in coming days.”
Rutuparna is eager to play international tournaments but is in need of sponsorship. While her training expenses at the academy are looked after, she needs at least Rs 20,000 every month for her sports gear and international tour expenses.
“I wish to make it to 2020 Olympics. But first, I hope to be selected in the BWF World Junior Championships to be held in October,” said the promising shuttler.