Misha looks to learn tricks of success with mother’s recipe | other | Hindustan Times
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Misha looks to learn tricks of success with mother’s recipe

Mothers yearn for an ideal partner for their sons. Svetlana Zilberman was also on the lookout for a suitable partner for her badminton-playing son, Misha, to play mixed doubles. But the failure to find a right candidate forced her to come out of retirement in 2005, reports Abhijeet Kulkarni.

other Updated: Aug 09, 2009 00:43 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

Mothers yearn for an ideal partner for their sons. Svetlana Zilberman was also on the lookout for a suitable partner for her badminton-playing son, Misha, to play mixed doubles. But the failure to find a right candidate forced her to come out of retirement in 2005.

Four year later, Svetlana (45) and Misha (20) have become the first mother-son pair to qualify for the BWF World Championship that begins here on Monday.

Svetlana, a European Championship bronze medallist for the erstwhile USSR, and Misha will be representing Israel in the flagship event and will take on England's 11th seeded Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg in the first round.

“You won't believe but this also my first World Championship in an individual event,” said Svetlana, who represented the USSR in Sudirman Cup and Uber Cup.

Svetlana, then Svetlana Beliasova, retired from international badminton in 1991 and moved to Israel after marriage. But she kept in touch by playing in the national championship.

Under her tutelage, Misha has dominated the junior national circuit but needed a partner to play mixed doubles and get more court time on the international senior circuit. “First, it is difficult to find girls who play badminton in Israel. Then to find someone who was good to partner him was tougher. So I decided to step in,” said Svetlana, who also doubles up as Misha's coach.

Initially, the 107th-ranked pair rarely made a mark but the combination surprised when they bagged a rubber against The Netherlands in the European team championship earlier this year. “No one expected us to win. But that victory did a lot of good to my confidence,” said Misha, who wants to make a career in singles.

“Playing mixed doubles is all about learning the nuances of the game. I hardly get to play with good players in Israel so playing two events is a major plus,” he said. The 20-year-old has also qualified in singles and will face defending champion Lin Dan in the first round. Aware of his chances, he said: “I am happy to be here for my first World Championship. But I am not happy with the draw, I guess its just another learning experience.”