India pocket 19 medals on opening day of Commonwealth Judo Championships
The rousing strains of Jana Gana Mana played out 19 times after India’s visually impaired team hit the medal trail with as many as seven gold medals.
The rousing strains of 'Jana Gana Mana' played out 19 times at the University of Wolverhampton Sports Centre after the opening day of the Commonwealth Judo Championships saw India’s visually impaired team hit the medal trail with as many as seven gold medals. Their chests swelled up with pride, as the tricoloured flag went up in the air spreading an overwhelming wave of patriotism that implicitly takes over any other emotion.
India’s 20-member strong team walked away with a rich haul of 19 medals, including seven gold, seven silver, and five bronze medals. Only one of the sizeable team failed to bag a medal. The 16th edition of the event began with the visually impaired competition with winners India alongside countries like England, Wales, Scotland, and South Africa as participants.
Ecstatic about the win, Indian team official Aaesha Munawar expressed,
Managed by the Indian Blind and Para Judo Association, Visually Impaired (VI) judo in India has witnessed steep participation over the years at the national level, with girls constituting about 45% out of 700 visually impaired judokas in the country. “Through judo, we can empower them and give them the skills and character for a better, more fulfilling life and to hopefully change perceptions in our country and around the world,” said Aaesha, as reported by International Judo Federation (IJF).
While teams as Scotland, Wales, and England struck gold medals, Indian judokas reigned supreme on the opening day itself. “We rely on sponsors, partners, and donations to send our athletes to competitions,” said a dejected Aaesha. “Sometimes, we beg and borrow, but we believe in our cause and our judoka. With no government support, it is challenging but we will never stop. We’re here to help these children, make their parents proud, and to improve their own self-esteem and we are witnessing that. We had over 700 judokas at our last VI national championships and we picked the best medallists from the event for Walsall,” she added.