Father-son duo script a beautiful moment in Kerala badminton

Joy T Antony (right) and his son Rayhaan in action. Photo: Special arrangement

Kochi: It is not uncommon to find children of sportspersons following in their parents' footsteps. Like Sachin Tendulkar's son Arjun or Sunil Gavaskar's son Rohan or many more across the world.

But it is quite rare to find a parent play side by side with his or her child in a competitive sport. Kochi witnessed such a beautiful moment the other day at the Rajagiri badminton tournament.

Former international batminton player Joy T Antony took part in the men's doubles event partnering his son Rayhaan. Interestingly, the father-son duo so nearly clinched the title, only to lose a close game in the semifinals.

"It's the happiest tournament I've played till now and one of my most beautiful moments," said Antony feeling proud of his 12-year-old boy's performance.

"He is just a beginner and my intention was to help him (Rayhaan) face the challenges and gain that experience," said Antony, on deciding to partner his son in the tournament. Having reached the semifinals, Antony felt vindicated. "He was a great fighter and played without fear in tough situations,” said Antony. Rayhaan is a 7th standard student at Rajagiri Public School in Kalamassery.

Antony had an illustrious career at the state and national level and continues to play -- mostly veterans games -- thanks to a disciplined fitness regime. Antony is also popular in the coaching circuit and was part of India's staff at the Asia Junior Championships in Indonesia and China.

Do you want him to follow your path and become a professional badminton player? "I'm not forcing him, I want him to find his passion and do his best in that. That's what my father did," said the veteran with a smile.

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