Young Indian shuttler Smit Toshniwal makes it to back-to-back finals in international tournaments

Smit Toshniwal proved her performance at the Odisha Open was no flash in the pan by reaching yet another final in Slovenia.

21-year-old Smit Toshniwal finished second at the Slovenia International 2022 Series held in Maribor, Slovenia last week in another superb performance.

It was Smit’s second consecutive finals appearance in consecutive international tournaments. Earlier, at the Odisha Open 2022 BWF World Tour Super 100 tournament in Cuttack, January 2022, Smit surprised everyone by storming into the women’s singles final.

In an all-India final, 14-year-old Unnati stopped Hooda Smit’s giant-slaying run to claim her first international title.

Ahead of the Odisha Open, Smit was far from the limelight but her sensational performance in cuttack caught the attention of the Indian sporting community. Despite losing her last fight against another up-and-coming Indian shuttle, Smit won everyone’s hearts with her spectacular run.

Buoyed by her success at the Odisha Open, Smit worked hard on her fitness and skills without competing in a tournament. The hard work paid off as she produced another excellent performance in Slovenia. The sixth seed recorded some brilliant wins to secure their place in the finals.

However, Smit’s winning streak was halted by eighth seed Lin Hsiang Ti of Chinese Taipei in 36 minutes 15:21, 14:21. World No. 113 Smit tried her best but failed to defeat Lin Hsiang Ti in the final.

The 23-year-old player from Chinese Taipei, who is ranked No. 126 in the world, used her experience to end Smit’s hopes of winning her first international crown.

Smit Toshniwal’s journey onto the international stage

Smit moved to Hyderabad from Nashik, Maharashtra a few years ago and joined Chetan Anand Badminton Academy (CABA). Since she joined CABA she has continuously improved.

Coach Chetan Anand is happy with Smit’s performance

Former international star Chetan Anand is delighted with Smit Toshniwal’s latest performance. He had hoped that Smit would do even better in the years to come.

Speaking to Sportskeeda, Anand explained how Smit’s game has improved over the last year.

“Yes, she has the talent and the game to perform on the world stage, but underperformed last year. She has good speed and needs to work on her strengths a bit. Since she came to me, we’ve been working on cardio and strength training.”

Chetan Anand is a four-time national men’s singles champion, winning the title in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010; and three-time winner of the South Asian Games – 2004, 2006 and 2010.

The former world No. 10 has worked really hard on Smit’s mental side. The teenager beat Indonesia’s Mutiara Ayu Puspitasari 21-17, 21-7 in the semifinals in Slovenia.

“We also worked on her mental toughness and confidence which was lacking before as she used to doubt her abilities. Smit used to be under a lot of pressure to perform, but that has now changed. She’s a confident player now.”

Player-Coach Anand has produced some very good players from his academy. He expects better results from Smit in the next few tournaments.

“Now she is playing freely as her confidence has improved. I expect many more good results in the next tournaments.”

Smit Toshniwal will now compete at the Austrian Open 2022 International Series to be played from May 26th to 29th in Graz, Austria. Sixth-seeded Smit will face one of the qualifiers in the first round on Friday.

Smit Toshniwal’s route to the Slovenia International Series 2022 final

First round

6-Smit bt Tasya Farahnailah (Indonesia) 21-9, 21-19 (31 mins)

Second round

6-Smit vs. Arina Marushchak (Ukraine) 22:24, 21:10, 21:19 (55 minutes)

Quarterfinals

6-Smit bt Ananya Praveen 21-16, 21-9 (India) (30 minutes)

semifinals

6-Smit bt Mutiara Ayu Puspitasari (Indonesia) 21-17, 21-7 (33 mins)

final

6-Smit lost to 8-Lin Hsiang Ti (Chinese Taipei) 15:21, 14:21 (36th minute).


Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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