THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Shinoj M, a veteran gymnast representing Kerala in the 35th National Games, is in bright spirits. The seasoned sportsperson finished his all-round performance on Wednesday, bagging a bronze for the events.
The Keralite competed in Artistic Gymnastics, Pommels, Horizontal Bar and Rings. Rakesh Kumar from the Services team came in the first place with an overall score of 13.80, while Ashish Kumar from UP and Partha Mandal from West Bengal bagged second and third places with scores of 13.25 and 12.95 respectively. However, Shinoj was not too far behind, getting a score of 12.85.
Hailing from Thalassery, the international player had been representing the Services team in national and international competitions for the past 15 years. The 35th National Games is a special event for the gymnast as he is representing his home state for the first time at a national platform. Says an overjoyed Shinoj, “I am thrilled at representing Kerala for the first time in a national event and the bronze medal has turned out to be the icing on the cake. I hope to bag more medals in my individual competitions.”
The fact that the Services team is leading right now in the all-round gymnastic finals doesn’t daunt Shinoj. He adds, “As I had been representing their team for a long time, I am familiar with each and every player in the team. However, I believe in competing with and challenging myself on every opportunity I get.”
Sajeev, his coach, has high hopes for Shinoj. Says Sajeev, “Shinoj has been listed among the top six Indian gymnasts and has great potential. I am confident that he will finish today’s events with flying colours.”
So what next? Adds his coach, “After the nationals, the next level is the open nationals. Shinoj has already competed at international platforms and we hope to continue the same.”