Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): It’s 4am. The eastern vault of the sky has yet to redden. A thin winter fog hangs in the air. This is the time to enjoy the warmth under blanket or quilt. But MP rowers aged 15 to 18 years know no comfort. They wake up every day to practise in the fog-wrapped Upper Lake. This time, their sights are set on winning medals for MP in Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2022.
Madhya Pradesh is hosting the KIYG 2022, and water sports have been included for the first time in the history of the KIYG. MP’s water ninjas are as amazing as this state’s water sports infrastructure. MP created history by being in the top two in rowing at the 36th National Games of India held in Gujarat. Madhya Pradesh rowers rowed toward victory and won eight medals in the national games, including three gold, two silver, and three bronze. With eight medals, MP stood second in the rowing discipline there.
MP’s rowing ninjas are again ready to compete for gold; they wake up at 4 a.m. and hold their boats by 6 a.m. in this freezing weather. They get into the water, and it is the warmth of hard work and dedication to win a medal for the state that keep them safe, they say.
MP’s 26-member rowing squad is all set for the KIYG; eight junior members of this squad also participated in the country’s biggest multidisciplinary sports event, the National Games 2022. All these athletes have won medals for their state and country in the past.
Meet the junior squad that participated in the senior National Games in 2022 for the state. Prabhakar recently won gold for the country in the junior Asian Championship. Similarly, Chotu Nath of the MP squad won a silver medal for the state in the National Games.
Monika is a junior national gold medallist. Vedansh is a junior national silver medallist, and Banti won silver in the junior national tournament. Gopal won gold in the junior nationals, and he also won silver in the national games, and Yogesh is a junior national gold medallist.
All these athletes have competed with the senior athletes in the past, and they have defeated them in different competitions. It’d be an amazing sight to see them compete for the state in their home waters, Upper Lake.
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