Wushu high on 'Target Olympic Podium scheme' shot

This martial art involving full physical contact may be yet to appeal to the masses, but people administering and taking part in it are focussed.

Published: 11th May 2018 04:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2018 04:03 AM   |  A+A-

Wushu

Pooja Kadian (left) clinched a historic gold in the 2017 World Championships.

Express News Service

CHENNAI: India's Wushu players are not a celebrated bunch. Rarely do they feature in dailies or magazines. Yet, they have been a consistent lot in international competitions, especially in recent years. Events they have won medals in include World and Asian Championships. With Asian Games on the horizon, they get a rare chance to come to the fore.

Like other popular sports, the preps are on for these unsung heroes. This martial art involving full physical contact may be yet to appeal to the masses, but people administering and taking part in it are focussed on the task ahead. Currently undergoing a camp in Shilaroo in Himachal Pradesh, a 10-member team along with three in the support staff (two coaches, one physio) will head to Shanghai for a tournament.

Suhel Ahmed, Wushu Association of India secretary general, said a meeting was held between the government and the federation on Thursday. "We discussed the China trip, getting visas etc. It was a good meeting and the tour will be a good exposure for the players."

Of the lot set for the China trip, seven are part of the Target Olympic Podium scheme (TOPs). "Two, three TOPs players were beaten by non-TOPs players. So we want to be fair and give an opportunity to all," said Ahmed.

Ten members of the team are part of the TOP scheme (handed just four months ago), a sign that the sport is gaining ground. Ahmed thinks it can grow bigger with regular backing from the government. "We have won medals in the last three Asian Games. After we started getting government support, we won gold in the World Junior Championships (2016) and Asian Championships (2016). We even won a historic gold at the World Championships (2017). If we get full backing, wushu can definitely go far," he said.

Ahmed revealed there are talks of an academy, to nurture more talent. The WAI is also hoping to get a psychologist. "When our players are up against China are Iran, they carry that pessimistic attitude. We started counselling sessions at the junior level and it worked. We have realised that having a psychologist could lift our players," Ahmed said.

World Championships gold medallist Pooja Kadian and Arjuna awardee Y Sanathoi Devi are the top names. The latter had won bronze at the last Asian Games in Incheon. And there's Naorem Roshibina (Asian Junior Championships gold medallist), who has been punching above weight.

Coach Rajvir Singh, who is in Shilaroo, is upbeat. "Training is going well, everyone is keen on doing well." Team selection for the Asiad is scheduled for June 19.

anmol@newindianexpress.com

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp