Reporter Thinley Namgay in conversation with 22-years -old badminton player, Anish Gurung, who is currently training at Ponsana Badminton Academy in Thailand. Anish Gurung landed in Thailand on August 21 and he will train there for a year.        

Who is Anish Gurung?  

I am from Samtse. I graduated from Gedu College of Business Studies in June this year. I completed my primary school education in Gomtu, moved to Nganglam in 2013 where I started playing badminton with my mom, and completed my middle secondary education there. I got an opportunity to represent my school in the 2016 national school games which took place at Ugyen Academy in Punakha. I was one of the players selected by coach Dorji and Sherab from the school meet for advanced training camp in Thimphu.

After the camp, I got the offer to further train under the guidance of coach Sherab and Dorji. So I lived with my aunt in Thimphu to continue my studies and underwent training since 2017. Coaches helped me get enrolled in Motithang HSS and completed my class XII there.

What difference do you find in terms of training between Bhutan and Thailand?

Training is quite intense here compared to Bhutan. The facilities are better and guidance superb.

When did you start playing badminton? 

At around the age of 14, I started to play badminton with my mother every evening.

Later, after getting quite easy with the game, my mom and I would join and play with other badminton members.

Did you get coaching in the early days?

No, I preferred learning from YouTube and watching other member players. I got my first coaching at an advanced training camp in January 2017 in Thimphu.


What motivates you to play badminton?

The main motivating factor for me to play badminton are my parents. They introduced me to the sport and  they have always been pushing me forward. My parents get overjoyed whenever I win a match and are very supportive. Once my mom came all the way from Nganglam to Thimphu to watch and support me in the tournament.


What is your goal as a badminton player?

My goal as a badminton player is to at least bring a medal  from the an international game and make our country proud.

Who is your favourite badminton player and why?

My favourite badminton player is Dato Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia. He is the first player I watched playing on television. His humbleness, hard work, and the way he plays and moves around the court so smoothly is amazing.


What are the challenges you faced so far? 

Apart from badminton, the challenges I faced was were mostly in academic performance. I had to balance the two.

Your greatest achievement to date and the total international games played?

My greatest achievement would be winning my first open national championship, Phuentsholing open champion, and runners up in Gelephu  all in 2019. I featured in eight international games.

How do you cope with the mental pressure? 

I try my best to always be prepared and keep everything prepared ahead of my matches and keep myself composed and not think about outcomes.