Meet Anahat Singh, The Youngest Indian Athlete At The Birmingham CWG 2022

She’s not only the youngest Indian athlete at the CWG this year, but also made history after winning her opening match.

Published On Sep 15, 2022 | Updated On Feb 27, 2024

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The 14-year-old Anahat Singh made headlines when she represented India at the Birmingham commonwealth games 2022. This class 9 student from New Delhi qualified for the commonwealth games after her stellar performance in the national trials. She went on to not just be the youngest Indian athlete at the games but also made history on the 29th of July after winning her opening match.

Here’s a peek into the journey and accomplishments of this little wonder:

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A seven-year-old little girl who started playing badminton with her sister Amira slowly developed an affinity for squash. A sport her sister was already learning at Siri Fort Stadium in New Delhi. What started off as a hobby for Anahat turned into a professional sport with her exemplary performance. 

Accompanying her sister to a camp in Jaipur where former India International Ritwik Bhattacharya jokingly commented on her skills to watch out for, his words became a reality seven years later. After her impressive performance at the under 15 Asian Junior Squash and German Open, Anahat was invited to be a part of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. She was the youngest representative among 205 other Indian contingents from the country.

A passion that began by accompanying her older sister to games, Anahat’s journey from Siri Fort to the Commonwealth Games has been commendable. With a gift for the game, Anahat’s father Gursharan Singh, has been lauded by professionals for his encouraging support at an early age. Anahat's mother, Tina Vadehra Singh, removed all her living room furniture during the lockdown making a place for Anahat to practice. By the end of the lockdown, she jokingly stated that their walls were falling, wires were coming off, and there were holes on the floor.

Her uniqueness towards the game comes from her gut-feel physics that Anahat has acquired after playing against other talents across the country. Her sister is also currently part of Harvard’s squash team.

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The 14-year-old squash prodigy has made history after her debut performance in the senior category at the Commonwealth Games. Her game in Birmingham was in top form because when players are young, they use power from their hands to hit the ball with the racquet. This technique is a challenge for senior players in the sport.

Her mentor and coach Ritwik Bhattacharya explains her unique talent and mentality during a match. The young athlete uses her body weight to hit the ball, not just her arm strength. This impact creates momentum with each and every shot, making her serves power-packed. This is rarely seen among 14-year-olds. Her mind during the match is consistent and focused on the game and her opponent. She seamlessly adapts to the flow and learns their weakness through the game. Her agility dictates the pace of the game, boosting her probability to win even with older echelons in the sport.

Today, Anahat has already bagged more than 50 prestigious titles some of which are - the US Junior Open, Asian Championship, and the British, Dutch, and German Junior Open. Her accolades include being the first sportswoman to win the British Junior Squash Open and US Junior Squash Open in 2019 and 2021, respectively.

After her win at the CWG, Anahat has qualified for the World Junior Squash Championship 2022 taking place in Nancy, France, from the 9th of August. Anahat has set another record by becoming the youngest Indian to participate in the tournament. 


Photo: Shutterstock

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