I almost lost an opportunity to make it for Khelo India this year, says KIYG medallist Gymnast Mann Kothari - New Delhi News
by IANS | Updated Feb 13, 2023
The 16-year-old gymnast, who is training under the guidance of coach Vishal Katkadaund and Shailendra Lad, bagged two medals for Maharashtra -- silver and bronze medals in the horizontal bar and floor exercise respectively in artistic gymnastics category at the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games.
Speaking to IANS about the challenges he faced as a gymnast, Mann said: "The constraint of the training facility is the major challenge, which makes the process of learning new skill much harder and clumsy. Facilities are slowly improving but there is still a long way to go.
"Another big challenge is consistent performance as one wrong move on the competition day can take away months of hard work. I almost lost an opportunity to make it for Khelo India this year, as I was not selected for Federation national by 0.1 points in the all-round category total due to a fall on the Vaulting table which cost almost 2 full marks.
"As Maharashtra was first in Federation Cup and Nationals, they got an opportunity to bring 3 more gymnasts for Khelo India and as I was next in line so got in."
Mann's achievements, besides his Khelo India medal in Madhya Pardesh, include National silver for the Sub-Junior category in 2019 and all-around champion at the Invitation meet in Hong Kong in 2014 at the age of 7.
The youngster believes that Khelo India has created a platform for young athletes to experience large format national level games and highlighted some aspects that need to be taken care of to take the Games to newer heights.
"It encourages us to look forward to the annual event and stay prepared in anticipation for the games, also my success has been a big source of joy and satisfaction for my parents and extended family which keeps me motivated and happy,' he said.
"While most of the aspects are well taken care of, some things that need attention are, the games schedule should be notified 6 months in advance, sufficient podium training time should be given to athletes, placement and visibility of scoring screens at the venue," 16-year-old added.
Maharashtra is leading the total medal tally with 90 medals. The gymnastics competition was hosted by LNIPE Gwalior, and the Maharashtra team finished top with a total of 19 medals once again establishing its dominance in the game at the national level.
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