In the heart of Dubai, a young and determined athlete is making waves in the world of badminton. Taabia Khan, at just 17 years old, has achieved the remarkable feat of securing the second spot in mixed doubles on the BWF Junior World Rankings. Her journey from a cricketing family background to becoming a badminton sensation is a testament to her passion, hard work, and the unwavering support of her family.
Taabia’s father, Omer Khan, arrived in the UAE over two decades ago with cricket as his gateway to a new life. A former national-level cricketer in India, Omer’s skills led him to a job in the shipping industry. While cricket ran in the family, it was Taabia who emerged as the torchbearer for a new sporting legacy.
Initially groomed to follow in her father’s cricketing footsteps, Taabia’s interest took an unexpected turn when she witnessed her mother playing badminton for leisure. Fascinated by the racquet sport, she shifted her focus and never looked back. Eight years later, Taabia has not only embraced badminton but has excelled on the international stage.
Taabia’s journey to the world number two spot includes three consecutive international titles in Uganda, Spain, and Cyprus. Reflecting on her success, Taabia acknowledges the hard work invested since the beginning. A Grade 12 student at the Indian Academy School in Dubai, she spends seven hours a day honing her skills at the Battledore Sports Academy under the guidance of head coach Alfaz Kalam.
The UAE Badminton Federation’s decision to allow expats to represent the country in international events opened doors for Taabia. This opportunity enabled her to participate in the senior Asian championships, gaining exposure and competing against some of the world’s best players.
Taabia’s father, Omer, fully supports his daughters’ badminton aspirations. The family’s commitment is evident as they prioritize international badminton tournaments over vacations. Omer envisions a future where Taabia and her younger sister, Mysha Omer Khan, achieve the coveted world number one ranking in the seniors category.
Taabia Khan’s rise from a cricketing family to the world number two in badminton showcases her dedication, talent, and the power of pursuing one’s passion. As she continues to make strides in the badminton world, Taabia’s story serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes, reminding them that the journey to success often takes unexpected turns but is profoundly rewarding.