x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Joseph credits practising with older players for title

Coach-less teenager from Fujairah and winner of junior title also relies on advice of world No 91 Bagus.

A 13 year old made light of the absence of a coach to win a junior title at a UAE badminton event.

Roshan Joseph, a pupil St Mary's Catholic High School in Fujairah, won the Under 16 crown at the Indian Club in Dubai with a 21-19, 12-21, 21-18 victory over Akhil Pradeep. The achievement was made all the remarkable by the fact that Joseph hones his skills at the Indian Social Club in Fujairah without the guidance of a coach.

"My dad has taught me a bit of badminton," Joseph said. "So the basics are from him. I had a coach about one year back, but now I don't have a coach. I just go to the club and play against the men over there, two hours every day."

Fortunately, Joseph also receives expert advice from Indra Bagus, a Dubai-based Indonesian who is ranked No 91 in the world.

"He is my friend and he has taught me a lot of badminton," Joseph said. "His game is really cool to watch. I like Lee Chong Wei, he is the world No 1."

Joseph is a keen sportsman and manages to successfully combine sport with his studies.

"I also play football, I do swimming and I do running," he said. "But I was also ranked No 1 in studies in the seventh standard. The eighth standard is just going on."

Joseph missed out a double success at the tournament, reaching the final of the Under 18 finals of the tournament where he lost to Mohammed Munawar.

However, he is still involved in the Under 14 event yet his chances of testing himself against the seniors have been dashed as tournament rules do not allow for participation in more than three categories.