Tarun Dhillon was 10 when he met with a road accident two years ago. The mishap left his right leg partially affected. But Dhillon has forgotten the incident and moved on. “The accident may have taken away my leg, but it could not take away my game,” he said.
Turning out in the Pramod Mahajan Badminton Tournament, Dhillon has given ample proof of his potential — be it the deft drop shots, near-flawless taps at the net or the push that often catches opponents on the wrong foot.
Dhillon does this while coping with a limitation. He can bend his knee to a certain angle, and this disrupts the footwork.
“I cannot go for smashes as it requires me to shift the balance. The lifts are also a problem as I need to stretch forward,” he said. “But I have modified my game to make my disability less crippling,” he added. A gold medallist in singles at the Asian Games for handicapped players, Dhillon is the No 1 junior in Asia. Despite this, the yearning to play in regular tournaments remains. “I have been selected for the schools nationals at Mumbai,” he said.
Manas Sethi, Dhillon’s doubles partner, doesn’t have a problem in pairing with Dhillon. “He is better than me, and is very skilful. I am proud to play with him, said Sethi. Dhillon, however, is more realistic. “The truth is they are better than me. It’s in the mind where I am better than most of them,” he said.