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Indian badminton player Subhankar Dey has opened up about his victory over Lin Dan in the SaarLorLux Open Badminton Championship in 2018, saying it was a dream come true moment for him to defeat the two-time Olympic gold-medalist.
The 27-year-old shuttler first rose to national prominence when he defeated Sai Praneeth in the quarterfinals of the senior badminton nationals held in Nagpur in 2017 and the win against Dan in 2018 ensured he grabbed national headlines.
"When I was small, my sister made a big poster for me of Lin Dan and I used to sleep next to it. And I used to think that one day I will play against him. I never thought of defeating him that time since I was very small. It was always a dream for me. I wanted to see Lin Dan, play like him and copy him when I was in Kolkata," said Subhankar during an interaction on Sports Tiger's show 'Building Bridge'.
"I celebrate a lot after every win but after defeating Lin Dan, I did not celebrate at all. It was quite surprising as everybody in India was like, you beat Lin Dan, so some expression should be there. But I just went and shook hands and left. That was the respect I had for him," he added.
The current world number 46 also spoke about his early days in Kolkata and how his elder brother and sister inspired him to take up the sport. He moved to Mumbai with just Rs 500 and terms that as the turning point of his career.
"I feel my turning point was when I came to Mumbai. I started performing well after moving there on India level. Initially there weren't any sponsors but I became India No.6 and became part of Asian Championship U-19, that time I got a scholarship from Hindustan petroleum of Rs 12k. That was the first scholarship I got for me and it was a huge amount for me at that time," he said.
Subhankar, who also plays for the Awadhe Warriors in the Premier Badminton League, like most other sportsmen had to stay away from playing the game for a long time due to the nationwide lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Initial two-three months I was motivated but then started getting bored. Luckily I have my own centre at Mumbai and I have a few students. So they started doing online sessions and we started doing physical sessions and that's how I killed my time," said the shuttler.
On his future plans, Subhankar said he wants to go with the flow and break into the top 20 next year.