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Nine-year-old from Forsyth County well on his way to becoming a badminton pro


Atlanta, GA, March 15, 2023: Excelling in sports requires a combination of physical, mental, and emotional skills. Sai Ratan Shankar is well aware of this and puts as much time into his badminton practice. The nine-year-old fourth-grader from Forsyth County, Georgia is well on the way to becoming a professional badminton player who is currently ranked 6th in the USA Badminton Junior Ranking (Boys Singles Under 11 category).

At the tender age of six, Sai was introduced to the sport. What started as fun turned into a love for the sport Recognizing his potential, Sai’s parents decided it was time to get him some professional help to start playing competitive badminton. As in every sport, every player needs to have a robust team in place to achieve what they dream of.

Enter coach Allan de Leon, the former head coach of the Philippine Badminton Association. Coach Allan came with the expertise and stability needed to take Sai to the next level and has been instrumental in shaping Sai’s career.

Sai Ratan and Coach Allan de Leon at 2023 South Frisco Open Regional Championship.

The foundation of any game is proper technique, and Coach Allan makes sure that Sai does not falter when it comes to this. Whether as a pillar of support or providing the motivation needed, Coach Allan has been at Sai’s side since the start of his competitive career.

Sai has been wowing anyone who watches him play with his technique and resilience, beating players with way more experience than him. With practice sessions that start early in the morning before school hours and extended sessions after, the relentless training and hard work have paid off. He exploded onto the professional circuit with stunning performances in every tournament he has participated in, with more to come.

Arishankar G.M (Sai’s dad), Sai Ratan and Coach Allan de Leon at the 2023 South California Open Regional Championship.

The support system for Sai is fortified by the training facility – Atlanta Badminton Club located at Johns Creek, GA and the facility owner Chandra Sivalingam. Chandra ensures that he provides a safe and encouraging facility and is very accommodating of the kid’s schedule.

Sai has competed in various tournaments around the States, with each win making him more and more confident that this is what he wants to pursue. Sai started off the year 2023 with a bang, bringing home 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze medals. Notable wins include a Bronze in the Boys Singles and Gold in both Boys Doubles & Mixed Doubles categories in 2023 South California Open Regional Championship; a Silver for Boys Singles Under 11 and Bronze in Boys Doubles Under 11 in the 2023 South Frisco Open Regional Championship.

The future looks bright, and this young man is totally focused on what is to come.

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