Date : 22 Aug 2019
Nabeeha Abdul Razzaq stepped on the badminton court and represented her country, Maldives, at the tender age of 15 at the 2014 Asian Games. She might have exited early then, but over the next few years, Nabeeha improved her game and won local and international badminton tournaments. Most recently she won the Gold medal at the Indian Ocean Island Games 2019 in Mauritius. With the help of the Maldives Olympic Committee, we recently caught up with her for an interview. Here are the excerpts from the same.
1. How did you get into the sport, Badminton?
I started playing with my twin sister to pass time on the roads of my hometown. And then we thought of trying out for the inter school team and we surprisingly got selected. Our inter school coach then convinced us to join badminton Youth Development Program and that’s how I got into the sport.
2. Have you ever played Doubles badminton with any other player? If yes, how different it is to play with your sister? I have played doubles with another partner on multiple occasions for team event matches. It’s a lot different than from playing with my sister. Playing with my sister I have a whole different sense of trust and security than I feel with any other partner so I can really play my game when I’m playing with my sister. Something thats just not the same with any other partner.
3. Personally, what has been your favourite memory?
My favorite memory is now the moment I won IOIG 2019. I was ecstatic. I saw the Maldivian supporters crying happy tears for my win. It was amazing.
4. What is your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal is to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics by raising my ranking high.
5. How do you think the Olympic Council of Asia contributes to an athlete's development?
The programs held my OCA such as AOP is helping players from developing countries to reach their maximum performance but providing them with facilities they don’t have access to in their own country.
6. If there was any one professional advice you’d to give to your sister, what would that be?
Always be confident on the court. Don’t show your opponent how you’re feeling on the court in your face. Take time. Don’t just let the match pass you by without you even realizing. Take time and slow down the game if you must.
7. What is your favourite cuisine? (Which is your favourite dish?)
Maldivian cuisine. I love a good Masbaiy with some Rihaakuru.
8. What is your favourite pastime?
Watching series or movies.
9. Do you have any superstition, related to your sport?
I don’t really have a superstition related to my sport. But I do say Bismillah it-Rahman it-Rahim (In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassion) before every serve or receive I play.
10. Which is your favourite holiday destination?
Bali, Indonesia. I’ve always wanted to go there.
11. If not Badminton, which sport would you have played?
I would have played Netball. The first sport my sister and I ever played was netball. And we were pretty good at it too. We still get offers to play for the national netball team but because of our love for badminton we didn’t want to leave.
12. How would you describe yourself in one sentence.
I am a strong woman and athlete who stays by her principals and morals no matter what.
13. Any tips for budding shuttlers out there?
If you truly see yourself playing badminton professionally, really put your heart into it. Go all out. If you really want it to work, work hard for it and you’ll reach places you would have never thought you could. And if anyone says you can’t, work even harder to prove them wrong. There’s no better feeling than proving someone wrong and winning.
14. Any childhood memory with your sister, you’d like to share?
My sister and I used to put water on our legs and knees and ski up and down on the tiles of our room when we were kids. We were playing like that one day when I somehow got hurled to the front and hit my chin on the tiles and my chin split in half. I didn’t realize I had split my chin and I was telling my sister that it was alright but she was crying because she could see the blood streaming down my chest. Now that I think back on that day it was very funny. I still have the scar to prove it.
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