KOCHI: It was the men’s foil team finals at the fencing arena in CIAL and all indications pointed to the day being a black Wednesday for SSCB, who found themselves woefully outclassed in the beginning by a raging Manipur team. Enter Tamil Nadu native Vinoth Kumar, who managed to turn the game on its head by scoring 34 points in a record two sets for the SSCB team.
The scintillating performance of the young fencer had the crowd roaring on its feet, in a charged atmosphere that remains yet to be matched. He had also struck gold in the individual foil section of the fencing competitions at the National Games.
Going by his profile, the man with the midas touch was just continuing the gold rush he had embarked upon 4 years back.
Discovered by the army at 17, the athlete hails from a humble background, with his father a tailor and mother a housewife. “I had done my education in the Government Boys School in Vellore. My father was very interested in sports and my brother, who is the weightlifting coach in the army, advised me to concentrate on fencing because of its high prospects at that time,” he said.
And what does the future hold for the bright young talent. “I really want to qualify in the 2016 Olympics and represent my country there. That will only be possible if the government sponsors us for at least one month training in a foreign nation. If we keep on participating in India, our experience level will get saturated. The experience derived from playing in foreign soil would be invaluable,” he noted.