Gujarat’s Dodiya Sonal was ecstatic after she won gold in the 44kg category judo competition at the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati. The young judo athlete said that her parents have worked day and night to ensure that she is provided with all the facilities. Also Read - Indian Judoka Deepanshu Balayan Handed 22-month Suspension by NADA
“We are not a very affluent family. My father is a rickshaw driver and works at the farm in our house. My mother works at the farm and takes care of all the work at home as well. Also Read - Post Nirbhaya Horror, Number of Girls Taking to The Sport Has Drastically Risen: Judo Guru Munawar Anzar
“It’s been quite difficult for my family to support my judo career. When I wanted to participate in selection trials, my father worked day and night to help me get selected,” said Sonal. Also Read - India Women's Hockey Captain Rani Rampal Credits Khelo India University Games (KIUG) For Producing Raw Talents in Country
The judo athlete, who clinched gold in the last edition of the Khelo India Youth Games as well, said that the tournament is a fantastic one for young athletes.
“The Khelo India Youth Games is a great tournament for us. Every year, talented athletes are included in the Khelo India scheme and are provided with facilities,” said Sonal.
Gujarat has been making rapid strides in judo in the last few years and Sonal was quick to point out the rise of the sport in her state.
“Gujarat didn’t win too many medals in judo. But as the sport grew in the state, we started winning medals in state competitions. Earlier, everyone aimed for bronze in nationals, but now we have gold medallists from Gujarat,” signed off Sonal.
In the shooting events at Khelo India Youth Games, Zeena Khitta continued her good form in the 10m air rifle event as she clinched gold with a score of 251.3 on Tuesday.
Punjab’s Jasmeen Kaur and Sift Kaur bagged the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Khitta has backed up her excellent performance at the Nationals, where she defeated star shooters Mehuli Ghosh and Apurvi Chandela.