Hyderabad: Budda Aruna Reddy, the gymnast from city who had created history by bagging the country first ever medal – bronze – in World Cup in February last year, has seen the high and low within a span of a year.
Having achieved the rare feat in February, she got injured in November during the World Cup that sidelined her from the sport for a long period of time. She suffered an ACL tear and underwent a surgery in December. Doctors have advised her to take rest for six months before assessing her condition.
The injury forced her to miss the Olympic qualification events in November and she is now making an effort to realise her dream of making it to the Olympics. “It has been six months since I underwent surgery. I had got my MRI scans done and I have started training in basics three days ago. Doctors told me that ACL grade injury requires a minimum of one year rest. But I have to start training as I do not have time on my side. I have only one qualifying event left (in October) and I need to compete in that if I want to make it to Olympics,” she said from Mumbai where she is training at a colleague’s facility as the facilities in Hyderabad are not good enough and no national camp is being run at the moment.
Despite the career-threating injury, the 23-year-old Hyderabad revealed that she never lost hope nor allowed any negative thoughts come into her mind. “I know injuries can be scary and can shake your confidence. But not for one moment I thought that my dream was over. I have always been positive and I had a good support system that constantly helped me stay motivated. I have good physios, doctors, psychiatrist, and my family was with me supporting all along. I am eager to get back to my best,” she added.
The youngster had added a new vault move handspring Straight 540 before Asian Games to make my medal prospects bright. But she got injured performing the same vault. Generally, that can leave a scar on any athlete. But not is the case with Aruna. “I am not afraid to do it again. In fact, I am eager to do it as soon as possible. I had practiced and mastered it before the event. But unfortunately I got injured. But I am very confident of doing it better now since I know what mistakes I had committed and I can avoid that now.”
She now races against time to get in shape for the final qualifying event scheduled in October and the gritty gymnast is leaving no stone unturned to achieve her dream. “Olympics is my dream and if I miss this, you never know what will happen by the time of next Olympics (2024). So I have to take this risk now,” she concluded.