R. Radhakrishnan has a reputation of being the best yet strictest mathematics teacher in Sentul. And one would have thought that he would not allow his daughters to be anywhere near sports.
Yet, Radhakrishnan, a former Royal Malaysian Customs officer turned mathematics tuition teacher in Sentul, encouraged his princesses Kasturi, 18, and Venosha, 17, to take up badminton.
And the siblings repaid him by winning the women’s doubles event at the Fleet Mauritius International 2019 on June 16.
The duo defeated locals Aurelie Marie Elisa Allet and Kobita Dookhee 21-14, 21-14 to pocket US$800.
“My dad followed us to Mauritius and he was really excited when we won. Perhaps he didn’t expect us to win,” said Kasturi, who trains at the Shuttle Warriors Badminton Academy in Petaling Jaya.
“He hugged us and while he was elated, he quickly reminded us that this is just the beginning and we shouldn’t be contented.”
Kasturi and Venosha have been playing badminton since they were seven and six respectively.
“There were times when we got frustrated with each other on the court but we didn’t take it out on each other when we got home,” Kasturi said.
The win was sweet for Kasturi as she had earlier lost to eventual winner Myanmar’s Thet Htar Thuzar 21-19, 21-12 in Round 2 of the women’s singles competition.
Kasturi said Radhakrishnan had even told her that her studies could wait as she left secondary school last year.
Perhaps, Radhakrishnan trusts that his daughter knows what’s best for her as Kasturi scored 8As in her PT3 and 8As in SPM.
“He has given me the next two to three years to see how far I can go in badminton. I admit I’m slightly late compared to the other players but I will take this opportunity to buck up.”
“My sister Venosha will be concentrating on her SPM. As for me, my world ranking is 320 at the moment and I need to play at least one international tournament a month to ensure my rankings improve.”
Last year, Kasturi won the Air Asia-BAM National Junior League Finals and the inter-state mixed team (Under-18). She also represented the national side at the 2018 Asean School Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian shuttlers also won the men’s singles and men’s doubles events in Mauritius. Goh Giap Chin defeated Switzerland’s Christian Kirchmayr 21-17, 21-17 to win the gold medal. Boon Xin Yuan-Yap Qar Siong, meanwhile, managed a 21-16,21-18 win over Egyptians Adham Hatem Elgamal-Ahmed Salah.