Friday March 8, 2013
Malaysian-born Sashina making waves as France’s No. 1
SASHINA Vigneswaran is from Malaysia. But she’s now making waves in international badminton as France’s No. 1 woman singles player.
She’s even ranked higher than all the Malaysian women’s singles shuttlers in the world rankings. Sashina is world No. 40, while Malaysian No. 1 Sonia Cheah is only ranked 49th in the world!
While Malaysia’s Tee Jing Yi (world No. 52) and Lydia Cheah (No. 57) failed to clear their qualifying round hurdles in the ongoing All-England, Sashina at least made it to the first round before bowing out 12-21, 10-21 to two-time All-England champion Tine Baun of Denmark on Wednesday.
When Pi Hongyan quit the France national team last year, Sashina, who plays for the ASPTT Strasbourg club, assumed her place as the country’s top player.
The 24-year-old Sashina, who trains under Julien Fuchs, is happy that her move to France 10 years ago had allowed her to benefit from a good education system and badminton career.
“My parents sent my sister (Teshana) and I to France so that we could balance our studies and badminton career. It was tough initially but I’m glad everything’s fallen into place. My sister Teshana also plays for the club,” she said.
“Initially, we didn’t know the language and didn’t have many friends. We went to high school and the university there. We took an eight-month language course and, now, Strasbourg feels like home.
“I’m into my fourth year in international badminton and I hope to achieve more. Beating the higher-ranked Petya Nedelcheva (world No. 21) of Bulgaria at last week’s German Open was my biggest career win,” added the winner of the Belgian and Norwegian International tournaments.
In Malaysia, Sashina used to study at the St Mary’s Secondary School and trained briefly under the Kuala Lumpur state programme.
“I got involved in badminton at eight years old. My mother (Shantha Kumari) coaches young children at her own centre – Oncourt Sports – in Selayang but I didn’t train under her,” she laughed.
“I’m from the same batch as Woon Khe Wei, Goh V Shem and Lydia and we catch up during competitions sometimes. I have no regrets leaving.”
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