New Delhi: Judo was the talk of the town when Thangjam Tababi Devi clinched India’s first judo medal at the Youth Olympics in 2018.
A few months down the line, two Gujarat judokas are looking to make a huge mark in the sport through the Khelo India University Games. After successfully conducting three editions of the Khelo India Youth Games, the Indian government has decided to organize the Khelo India University Games in Odisha from 22 February to 1 March 2020 to unearth more talent for the Olympics.
Shreyanshi Gauswami, who will take part in the University Games for the Sardar Patel University, believes that the competition will be a big boost for her sporting career.
“I have been inducted into the Khelo India Scheme, so I am being provided with accommodation, food and training. It’s going really well for me at the moment. I won bronze at the Khelo India Youth Games this year in the -70kg category. The Khelo India University Games will certainly boost my career even more,” said the 19-year-old.
Gauswami added that she is extremely happy to see the Gujarat state government provide incredible support to judo.
“It’s great to see the Indian government supporting judo. The Gujarat government has especially helped the sport grow in the state. We were the winners in judo at the Khelo India Youth Games as well. We have received a lot of support from the Gujarat government,” said Gauswami, who trains at the Nadiad Sports Academy.
Ghanshyam Thakur, who is a judo coach at the Nadiad Sports Academy, explained how the Gujarat government has looked to improve the sporting culture in the state.
“The Gujarat government started Khel Mahakumbh in 2010. Through the tournament, talented athletes are selected and they get inducted into District Sports Schools. The athletes are provided with accommodation, food, training equipment and coaches for their sporting career. Regular schooling is also provided to the athletes so that they continue pursuing education. After performing well in the District Sports Schools, some athletes are inducted in the state academy, wherein they can push for medals at the national and international tournaments,” said Ghanshyam Thakur.
Another judoka from Gujarat, Afarudin Chovat will be taking part in the Khelo India University Games for the Gujarat University. Chovat expressed that the University Games will be a great platform to showcase his skills.
“It’s great to see the Indian government making efforts to grow judo in India. I am really looking forward to playing in the Khelo India University Games. We have got a chance to showcase our skills and it’s a fantastic platform for all athletes in India,” said Chovat.