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SportTelangana kickboxers Lahari, Ashish clinch gold in Cairo

Telangana kickboxers Lahari, Ashish clinch gold in Cairo

Published: 25th Oct 2021 12:02 am | Updated: 24th Oct 2021 8:42 pm

Hyderabad: Playing their maiden international tournament, Telangana kickboxers Lahari M Girish and Ashish Chand made it a memorable outing by winning gold medals in the World Kickboxing Championship in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday.

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The 12-year-old Lahari, who competed in the sub-junior 45+kg category while the 18-year-old Ashish took part in the junior -54kg category. Both hail from Begumpet and train with coach Arun Singh at the I Combat Sports academy.

Speaking from Cairo, Lahari said it is a dream come true for her. “I am feeling great and proud. Having wrapped in Indian flag and seeing our national anthem being played and flag being hoisted made me cry with joy. This is the best moment of my life,” said the youngster.

With this being her first international tournament, Lahari conceded that she had butterflies in her stomach ahead of the event. “I was nervous and excited at the same time since it was my first international tournament. I didn’t expect to win gold. I just wanted to give my best and enjoy the experience. Competing in the tournament and watching other matches also helped me learn many things. This was a great opportunity,” she revealed.

Speaking about dream, the Class VIII student from Niraj Public School, Ameerpet, said that representing India in Olympics is her ultimate goal. “My next focus is on doing well in Asian Championship. But my dream is to represent India at the Olympics and win medals for the country,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ashish, who was impressive at nationals with back-to-back gold medals in the last three years, continued his good form in the junior category. Speaking about his performance, his coach Arun said, “I knew he has the talent to succeed. We have seen him do well at the national level. But we are not sure how he would perform on the international stage. But he did it. He won gold and we are very proud of him. The struggles he went through to make it to Cairo, and now retiring with a gold is very satisfying,” he said.

He further revealed that Ashish did struggle with conditions and the food in Cairo but he overcame them. “The food was different and the conditions were tough. The competition in international event is very tough. We have Asian Championship next year in China. Our focus is on that tournament next. The gold medals will boost the confidence of Ashish and Lahari and a big motivation for them to do well in the future,” he concluded.

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