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Asian Games

Bronze is just the beginning: Indian sepak takraw team vows to keep pushing forward

The coaches of the Indian women's regu team speak about their future plans after winning the historic bronze at the Asian Games 2023.

Sepak Takraw Womens Regu
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Indian Sepak Takraw Women's Regu players at Asian Games ( Source: SAI)

By

Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 6 Oct 2023 11:53 AM GMT

India's women's regu sepak takraw team may have suffered a loss to Thailand, but they emerged from the court with a newfound sense of pride and a historic bronze medal in hand.

As the sun began to set on this memorable day for Indian sports, we caught up with the team's coaches, Hem Raj and Yogender Singh.

A picture worth a thousand words

One of the most touching moments of the evening was when both teams, despite the intense competition, decided to take a selfie together on the court.

Hem Raj, the coach of the Indian team, shares his thoughts on this touching gesture, "I think this was a great idea. Our players wanted to have a memory of their semifinal match against Thailand. They are the best players in the world, and it was a great moment for our team to play against them."

This act of camaraderie highlights the sportsmanship that is at the core of these competitions.

Reflecting on challenges and growth

Throughout the tournament, both teams faced their fair share of challenges, and the coaches didn't shy away from discussing them. "There was one moment I had an argument with the referees, but I never meant no disrespect. I do admit it could have been a little over the top, and you could also say it perhaps slowed down the tempo of the match because my team was in a difficult moment," admits Hem Raj.

Yogender Singh, another coach of the Indian team, expressed his satisfaction with the bronze medal and the determination to continue improving, saying, "We are happy to have won the bronze medal, as this is our first medal in women's sepaktakraw. We will continue to work hard for the next competitions."

He emphasises that they have a clear plan for the future, which includes more rigorous training and international exposure, "We have a clear plan for the future. We will conduct more difficult training and we will also provide more opportunities for our players. For example, we will go to other countries to practise, train and compete. We have great expectations for the future and we cannot relax."

The bronze medal symbolises a significant achievement for India's women's regu sepak takraw team, but it's clear from these conversations that both coaches are looking ahead to climb greater heights, taking this Asiad bronze as an inspiration.

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