Bhopal: Kayaking player from city Sumit Shokeen will take part in the World University Games, which will be held in Hungary from August 10-13. He is the only sportsperson from MP selected for 1000 km category in tournament. 20 kayaking players including 13 male and 7 girls across the country will compete in the tournament. Shokeen was selected for the tournament last month after qualifying selection trials held at Chandigarh.
He is now training in Sukna Lake, Chandigarh and will leave for Hungary on August 8. 23-year-old sportsperson whose target is 2020 Olympics have trained in Hungary in 2016 3 months at his own expenses. He has also competed in the tournament there.
“When I learnt that the game’s venue is Hungary, I couldn’t resist myself because I know it very well. It is like a second home for me. People there are very supportive. I have lot of friends there. We used to live like a family. After coming back to India, I am still in touch with them. We often talk to each other through whatsspp video calling and social media,” Shokeen told Free Press over phone.
He “One of my friends there, Victor became very happy after learning about my qualification, he is eagerly waiting to meet me. Some of my friends are also participating in tournament. For me, it will be like a get-together with my friends.”
Earlier, he didn’t get one year visa for training, so he had to return in three months. About the preparation, he said “It is going great. I am practicing 8 to 9 hours daily. I do boating, cycling, swimming and gym to build body strength and to learn boating techniques. I am aiming for the Gold and hoping for the best.”
He has represented MP in a host of national and international kayaking tournaments and participated in national championship thrice – in 2013, 2014 and 2016. In 2016, he played in the All-India University Games in Himachal Pradesh and won five medals: one gold, one silver and three bronze. He has also participated in tournaments held in China, Hungary and Indonesia.